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Clean Fuels and Vehicles Database

Partnership Newsletter


[Issue 1 2012]

2004 Highlights

  • Angola to start importing unleaded petrol in December 2004

  • In August 2004, a meeting was held in Angola to discuss the national situation regarding leaded petrol use. As a result of the meeting, it was decided to: create a national action plan for the phase-out of leaded fuel; schedule the phase-out process; gather technical means for the launch of unleaded petrol; and formulate an awareness campaign. It is expected that Angola will start importing unleaded petrol in December 2004.

  • Tanzania to stop importing leaded petrol as of 31 October 2004

  • At the September 2004 national workshop on phasing out leaded petrol, Tanzania committed itself to phasing out leaded petrol. The government stated its intention to stop importing leaded petrol as of 31 October 2004! Congratulations to Tanzania for this move! For more information, contact Jane Akumu at UNEP (

  • US EPA launches Diesel Retrofit Project in Mexico City

  • The Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Michael O. Leavitt, along with representatives from the World Resources Institute, Mexico, the Mexican Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), and the Center for Sustainable Transport in Mexico City launched the Mexico City Diesel Retrofit Project on 21 June 2004 in Mexico City. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) also contributed funding for this project.

    The project is a pilot project to retrofit a limited number of Mexico City buses with advanced emissions control technology to reduce emissions of particulates and other pollutants from diesel engines. Mobile sources, especially older diesel-powered trucks and buses, are a major cause of air pollution in Mexico City.

    The Mexico City Diesel Retrofit Project is one of many efforts that EPA has been engaged in to implement the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles.SEMARNAT joined the Partnership very early on, and was involved in the very first event in Johannesburg, South Africa. This project is one of the most tangible results from EPA’s global commitments.

    The project is designed to demonstrate how the combined use of cleaner fuels and diesel retrofit technologies can perform when applied to diesel engines operating under Mexico City conditions. The project is similar to diesel retrofit projects now underway in US cities, including Seattle, New York City, and Washington, D.C., where fleet owners and operators have committed to retrofit more than 150,000 diesel powered trucks, buses, and non-road equipment. Retrofit technologies can reduce diesel particulate emissions by 90% or more.

    EPA and EMBARQ, the World Resources Institute’s Center for Transport and the Environment, are awarding grants totaling $511,000 to the Center for Sustainable Transport, a Mexico City-based non-governmental organization to implement the project. This project represents a unique international collaboration between two countries, two non-governmental organizations and a capital city. The pilot is expected to last one year.

    The project will draw on EPA’s expertise, along with a variety of partners and technical advisors, representing some of the best air pollution experts in the Western Hemisphere. These include: Dr. Mario Molina of MIT; the Environmental and Energy Technology Policy Institute (EETPI); Northeast States Center for a Clean Air Future (NESCCAF); the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); International Truck and Engine; Volvo; Daimler-Chrysler; Engine, Fuel and Emissions Engineering Incorporated, and Ambientalis.

    When completed, the project is expected to demonstrate that significant reductions in harmful emissions from older, heavy-duty diesel engines can be achieved cost effectively through a combination of tailpipe control technologies and a new generation of clean diesel fuel. The fuel used in this project is ultra-low sulfur diesel, which is increasingly used in many US and European cities.

    The project is beginning as a demonstration of the use of diesel retrofit technologies and low-sulfur fuel in reducing emissions from existing buses in Mexico City. However, it could, if successful, be replicated across Mexico City, along the U.S.-Mexico Border, in other cities in Mexico, and ultimately in other countries. The Mexico City Diesel Retrofit Project is EPA’s first international retrofit project, and is already serving as a model for other EPA projects in key areas of the world – in Thailand, Chile and India, and perhaps in China and Central America.

  • Chemical analysis of Addis Ababa air quality samples completed

  • Chemistry analysis of the Addis Ababa air quality samples - the samples of which were collected in early 2004 - has been completed. Preliminary analysis of the analysis indicates that ambient airborne Pb (lead) concentrations are quite low and easily lower than the US National Ambient Air Quality Standards and Ethiopian Air Quality Standards. This is indeed a great indicator of the impact that phasing out leaded in petrol has had on air quality! Congratulations are in order to the people and organizations who have helped push through the removal of lead from gasoline in Ethiopia!

  • AMCEN takes decision on unleaded petrol

  • A decision on phasing out leaded petrol in Sub-Saharan Africa was taken by the 10th regular session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, held in Sirte, Libya from 26-30 June 2004.

  • Benin to be unleaded by December 2004

  • At a National Workshop that took place on 1-2 July 2004 in Cotonou, Benin, and attended by John Mooney from EETPI, Aminu Jalal of Nigeria, Koffi Volley of Togo and Jane Akumu of UNEP/PCFV, it was agreed that legislation would be enacted by October 2004 to ensure that only unleaded gasoline is imported into Benin from October this year. This would ensure that the country is lead free by 31 December 2004. It was also agreed that starting 1 January 2005 only cars fitted with catalytic converters would be imported into the country. The Workshop acknowledged the need for immediate commencement of public awareness creation on the outcomes of the Workshop including the neighbouring countries that imported their gasoline requirements through Benin.

    The Workshop was jointly sponsored by UNEP/PCFV (through a grant from the Netherlands' Ministry of Environment) and the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urbanisation, Benin.

  • Partner recognised for outstanding service in lead poisoning prevention

  • The United Nations Association of Australia, this week announces the recipients of their annual World Environment Day Awards. In the category for Outstanding Service to the Environment, is the dedicated Elizabeth O'Brien. She is being recognised for her pioneering effort and achievements in the area of lead poisoning prevention. Her time and work is spread over two community services - the Lead Advisory Service Australia (LASA) and the Global Lead Advice and Support Service (GLASS), both run by The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.

  • Reports on lead phase-out in Sub-Saharan Africa continue

  • Coverage on the issue of leaded petrol use in Sub-Saharan Africa continues following the successful Conference on Phasing Out Leaded Petrol in Sub-Saharan Africa, convened at UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi from 5-7 May 2004.

  • PCFV procures LeadCare blood lead test kit

  • Thanks to funding made available by the US EPA, the PCFV has just received a LeadCare blood lead test kit for use in African cities. The kit is comprised of an analyzer than can measure the amount of lead in blood, using a simple fingerprick test. The first use of the kit will be in Nairobi, where a university researcher will continue his studies on lead levels in Nairobi and area. The kit will then be available for use in other countries and for other research.

  • Central America Workshop scheduled for 21-22 April 2004

  • The CCAD (Comision Centro Americana del Ambiente y Desarrollo) signed to the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles at the WSSD in Johannesburg in 2002. The CCAD is the regional representative of the seven Ministers of Environment in Central America. Fortunately, the region has phased out lead out of gasoline. However, the levels of sulfur in fuels are high. In order to address this issue, the US EPA, sponsored by the Partnership, is organizing a regional workshop on clean fuels and vehicles. This activity is intended to serve as the first step for the region to bring stakeholders together to: discuss the issue; develop a regional working group; and begin discussion on drafting a regional action plan to reduce sulfur in fuels. The workshop will be held on 21-22 April in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

  • West Asia workshop scheduled for 17-19 March 2004

  • The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the UN Economic and Social Commission on Western Asia (ESCWA) in cooperation with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and PCFV will organize a meeting of experts on fuels and vehicles, community groups and government representatives in Beirut, Lebanon on 17-19 March 2004. Participants will assess the current situation on lead and sulfur in the Middle East and North Africa and determine needs and actions plans for the future. Since this region includes countries that have not yet eliminated lead from gasoline and sulfur levels are high, providing a forum for action is a major goal.

  • Report from 15-16 December 2003 IFQC Moscow Conference

  • The International Fuel Quality Center (IFQC) held a conference in Moscow December 15-16 on air quality, vehicles and fuels. The conference was organised by the IFQC in cooperation with the Russian Ministries of Transport and Energy and attended by approximately 120 Russians and 30 guests/speakers from Europe and the US. The organisers were very pleased, as were the participants with the exchange of information in the area of vehicle emissions and fuel quality. The IFQC looks forward to continuing this cooperation and the facilitation of dialogue between Russian and Western industry and government counterparts.

    During the conference, Fred Potter, Executive Director Hart Downstream Energy Services and Sandrine Dixson-Decleve, Director Europe & Africa, IFQC informed the participants of the activities of the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles, most notably regarding the work of the Octane Working Group. This was due to the interest by both refiners and auto makers in meeting octane requirements and the issues relative to various octane boosters.

  • USAID joins Partnership

  • The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has joined the Partnership! USAID is the principal US agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms. We look forward to working with them in the future! For more information about USAID, please visit their website.

  • RWANDA to go unleaded by April 2004!

  • The government here has given importers of leaded petrol two months to clear their storage facilities, a local newspaper has reported. Mr Celestin Kayitare, the secretary general in the Ministry of Commerce, said that the decision was taken on environmental grounds. A local newspaper reported that "the plan to eliminated leaded petroleum is being co-ordinated by the Partnership for Clean Vehicles and Fuels which was founded at the August 2002 World Summit on Sustainability in Johannesburg." Congratulations to Rwanda!!!

  • ETHIOPIA now 100% unleaded!

  • The Clearing-House of the Partnership has received notice from the Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise that Ethiopia is now 100% unleaded!!! Ethiopia had been importing unleaded petrol since mid-2003, but has now flushed out the leaded petrol. Congratulations to the governent of Ethiopia!!

  • MALAWI to go unleaded in February 2004

  • The Clearing-House of the Partnership has received notice from the government of Malawi that it will be switching to 100% unleaded in February 2004, following some changes in imports from Mozambique. A taskforce has met and is working on the logistics of the switchover, as well as the ethanol blend to be used. Congratulations to Malawi for making this move - we are looking forward to future updates on their progress!

  • GHANA and MAURITANIA 100% unleaded this month!!

  • The Clearing-House of the Partnership has received notice from the governments of both Ghana and Mauritania that both are now 100% unleaded!!! With these two countries having phased out leaded petrol, it brings the total number of Sub-Saharan African countries who are completely unleaded to five (the other three are Cape Verde, Mauritius, and Sudan). Congratulations to the governents of Ghana and Mauritania, and we hope this sets an excellent trend for the remainder of 2004!

  • "Dakar +2" scheduled for early May 2004

  • A Ministerial Conference on the Phase-out of Leaded Petrol in Sub-Saharan Africa will be convened at UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya from 5-7 May 2004. The Conference is being jointly organised by The World Bank, the US Environmental Protection Agency, IPIECA, UNEP and the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles. The main objectives of the Conference are to:
    1. Take stock of the progress made in each sub-region in the process of leaded gasoline phase-out;
    2. Identify key issues and potential constraints and recommend the remaining measures to be taken to reach the December 2005 deadline;and
    3. Debate the overall issues of urban air pollution.

  • New Partner in South Africa

  • The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) has joined the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles. NAAMSA represents over 95% of vehicle assemblers and importers operating in the Southern African region. We are very much looking forward to cooperation and collaboration with NAAMSA!!