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Indonesia Environment Ministry Initiates Low-Sulfur Fuel Movement

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The Indonesia Environment Ministry has initiated a national movement aimed at promoting the use of low-sulfur fuel oil to reduce air pollution from the transportation sector.

“We hope that in the next five years the public will be aware of using low-sulfur fuel oil,” the ministrys deputy for air pollution control Novrizal Tahar said in a media briefing on urban air pollution control here on Friday.

The ministry will launch campaigns on the use of low-sulfur fuel and alternative fuel, he noted.

There are various kinds of fuels that have low sulfur, including nonsubsidized gasoline, gas fuel, biofuel, and hybrid, he said.

The use of subsidized premium gasoline, which has high sulfur content, is currently made up of almost 97 percent of the total gasoline consumption. As a result, the vehicular emission is worse than that of nonsubsidized fuel, he said.

Only 2.5-3.5 percent of the countrys motorists use nonsubsidized fuel, he said.

Citing an example, he said the sulfur content of diesel oil ranges from 2,000 to 3,000 ppm. Meanwhile, the fuel that has met the standard of Euro 4 is between 50 and 500 ppm.

The sulfur content of fuel in Singapore is only 10 ppm, China 50 ppm, Thailand 50 ppm, and Japan and South Korea 10 ppm, he said.

The high sulfur content of fuel may lead to an increase in the number of people suffering from air pollution-related diseases, he said.

The results of a study conducted by the United Nations Environment Program revealed that Jakarta residents spend an annual average of Rp38.5 trillion on medical bills due to air pollution.

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated seven million people have died of air pollution-related diseases worldwide. Nearly 60,000 of the deaths are from Indonesia.

Source: www.antaranews.com, Friday, June 27 2014