Petroleum and Renewable Energy Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said his ministry was set to introduce a lower grade of petrol targeting small vehicles.
The move is aimed at softening the blow of rising fuel prices on small vehicles owners, especially three wheelers and motorbikes, the Minister revealed.
“We were compelled to increase the price of fuel recently but I’m aware of the issues this has caused the public. We are carrying out new experiments to give benefits to the public. We have decided to introduce a new type of petrol for the benefit of trishaws and motorists,” Ranatunga said.
The Government, which has been under fire for increasing fuel prices, is now engaged in testing out new avenues to reduce prices.
Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Chairman Dhammika Ranatunga said the idea was still being tested, with the refinery running tests to evaluate the possibility of introducing 87 Octane Petrol for the use of small engine vehicles with a basic four-stroke engine.
The results of the experiment are expected to be finalised within the next one and half months, sources within the ministry said. However, the oil will not be recommended for the use of advanced and sensitive engines such as hybrid motorcars.
“This grade is used in some vehicles even in the US as well. We are now in discussion with the agents of different vehicle manufacturers to see what types of vehicles the fuel can be used in. Once we have a proper understanding we will be able to decide on the way forward,” he said.
Further, the ministry is also looking at developing a distribution network for the new fuel if it is to be introduced to the market with plans to introduce it in stages maintaining a price of Rs. 120 per litre.
The CPC plans to introduce the fuel as a pilot project in Colombo to carry out a test run first and later introduce it to the rest of the island.
The petrol will be refined at the Sapugaskanda oil refinery, enabling the Government to keep the cost at a minimum.
“We are now looking at the formula and business models for the project. Once that is done we will be able to introduce the fuel to the market,” Ranatunga asserted.