New ‘super’ fuel lacks specifications

Two days after the European Union ban on the sale of leaded high octane petrol came into effect, some 70-80 percent of Greek petrol stations had switched over to the new fuel yesterday. Officially dubbed «new super,» the fuel uses potassium and manganese compounds to replace lead compounds used to reduce engine wear in the old petrol, which was marketed as «super.» It will cost around 222 drachmas (0.65 euros) per liter. About 30 percent of all Greek vehicles ran on «super,» which Brussels allowed to be used in Greece for two years after its ban in the rest of Europe, to allow the country time to prepare for the new fuel. Yesterday, petrol company officials and gas station owners told Kathimerini that the transition had been smooth. «There was no problem with supplying petrol stations,» MotorOil supplies manager Evangelos Fafoutis said. «The only grey area in the matter is that the specifications for the new fuel have still to be determined by law, and are just based on a study by the National Technical University of Athens.» Kyriakos Kartanos, president of the Attica petrol station owners’ association, agreed. «The problem concerns controls on the new fuel,» he said. «If I were to sell leaded fuel right now, who would keep tabs on me and according to which law would I be punished?» It is impossible to detect the chemicals replacing the lead compounds, and it is feared that petrol station owners might be tempted to sell – cheaper – unleaded petrol as «new super,» which is more expensive.

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