January, 13 2012 10:13:00

Nationwide fuel checks called for

HCM CITY — Agencies under the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST) have been told to examine the quality of 3,000 fuel samples taken from filling stations across the country.

The results of the inspection will be used to identify whether low-quality gasoline is the main cause behind recent vehicles fires, according to Tran Minh Dung, chief inspector of the MST. Inspections conducted in 2011 found sub-standard fuel.

"We must wait for the results of the comprehensive inspection on this issue," said Dung.

Automobiles and motorbikes are popular means of transportation in Viet Nam, but many users have failed to use them safely, ignoring periodic maintenance and lubricant renewal.

Some of them have even installed extra equipment on their motorbikes, said Dung.

Inspections of the gasoline samples from vehicles that suddenly burst into flames showed that the fuels in the gas tank were standard octane, methanol and water.

Dung said that claims that the low octane index had affected fuel quality, leading to the vehicle fires, were irrational.

He said the major errors made at 1,537 filling stations that were inspected last year were the use of unregistered pumps and broken pumps that gave inaccurate measurements.

In addition to fuel quality, there are various reasons behind these recent vehicle fires.

"Relevant authorities are working seriously on these issues," he added.

In related news, Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai has asked the MST to report to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung the results of the inspections on fuel quality conducted in 2011.

Suspected fuel

Gasoline samples taken from suspected gas stations in HCM City passed quality inspections, according to a report of Quality Assurance and Testing Centre 3 yesterday.

The tests were conducted in response to suspicion that traders were mixing low-performance fuel with additives to improve its combustion. The samples were taken from stations in Binh Thanh and Thu Duc districts, all of which received gasoline from a tank truck that was found to be holding mixed fuel in early January.

However, experts still doubt the quality, saying that potential errors in the procedure could have affected the results. — VNS

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