Over 50 participants from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia met at the Tunis International Center of Environmental Technologies (CITET), on 14-16 August 2008 to review progress in phasing out leaded gasoline. The first day of the meeting that was coordinated by IPIECA discussed technical issues to the phase-out of leaded gasoline in particular refining technologies, vehicle benefits of unleaded fuels and case examples from Africa on their experiences in phasing out leaded gasoline. The second and third day saw the three countries present their national strategies to move to unleaded gasoline and low sulphur fuels. The meeting was the joint effort of several of the PCFV partners in particular the PCFV Clearing-House, IPIECA, ACFA and ARA. The Tunisian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development organised and coordinated this meeting.
At the meeting, Morocco announced that they would be phasing out leaded gasoline and moving to 50 ppm sulphur level in fuels at the end of the year. Tunisia also announced that they would be phasing out leaded gasoline at the end of the year and will be embarking on a national program to reduce sulphur levels to at least 350 ppm. Algeria also informed the meeting that they planned to upgrade all the countries 4 refineries to meet European standards in terms of lead, benzene, sulphur and aromatics and expected to complete the phase out of leaded gasoline in 2013 or earlier. The PCFV Clearing-House will be following up with the three countries to support national sensitization on the implementation of the agreed recommendations.
The meeting also proposed the standardization of fuel, vehicle and air quality standards; exchange of information and the development of a regional plan on the environment and health not just in the three countries but in the MAGREB region.