|Engineers are checking the E5 biofuel system at PV Oil Dinh Vu, a member of PetroVietnam Oil Corporation. The sales of E5 fuel accounted for only 4.2 per cent of monthly total petrol sales in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung
HCM CITY (VNS)— Ethanol gasoline E5(A92-RON petrol containing 5 per cent ethanol) will be sold at all filling stations in HCM City beginning on December 31, according to the city's Department of Industry and Trade.
Speaking at a meeting to review the sale of E5 in the last 12 months, Le Ngoc Dao, the department's deputy director, said the city had nine fuel wholesalers with six general agents and 518 retail petrol stations.
The city is among seven localities, including Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Can Tho, and the provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Quang Ngai, that are implementing the pilot supply of E5 fuel by the Government.
In November last year, 58 petrol stations began selling E5 and the number rose to 262 by the end of the month, or 50.57 per cent of total petrol stations in the city.
"Despite efforts made by the city government and enterprises, sales of E5 fuel remain low, accounting for only 4.2 per cent of the total petrol sales in the city," she said.
The city's monthly petrol sales reached 130,100 cubic metres on average, of which A95-RON and A92-RON accounted for 33.3 per cent and 62.5 per cent, she said.
Consumers' consumption habits, few differences in price, and low profits of distributors contributed to the low sales of bio-fuel, she said.
Duong Van Trinh, representative of Petrolimex, one of the city's major fuel wholesalers, said the average E5 sales via his company's distribution system had increased significantly thanks to an increase in the number of petrol stations selling the fuel. But the volume of E5 sold accounted for only 7 per cent of its total petrol sales.
"Very few people ask for E5 at gas stations selling it," he said.
Consumers were still more familiar with the use of traditional A92-RON gasoline, he said, adding that they did not understand E5's benefits.
Even though the price for a litre of E5 was VND500 lower than that of A92, sales remained sluggish, he said.
Communication work should be enhanced to raise public awareness of the benefits of E5, delegates at the meeting said.
Trinh suggested that the Government support fuel trading firms in shifting to trading the bio-fuel since they had to spend a lot on building E5 mixing facilities, he said.
Dao said the department in collaboration with other agencies would raise awareness among people about the benefits of the bio-fuel.
In addition, all fuel stations in the city must hang two banners about the benefits of E5 starting from December 24, she said.
The city had encouraged general agents and retail stations to supply E5 on schedule, she said, adding that all stations were required to have at least one pump for E5 and to gradually reduce the supply of A92 fuel.
She suggested that the Government create a preferential policy for bio-fuel production and distribution firms as well as cut the price of E5 to stimulate distribution and consumption.
Retailers slash fuel prices
Retail prices of petrol were slashed at 3pm on December 18, following orders from the ministries of industry and trade and finance.
This is the 11th reduction in the petrol price and is expected to be the final adjustment this year.
The orders said the prices of Ron 92 petrol and E5 biofuel would be reduced by VND391 per litre to touch their ceiling prices of VND16,405 (US$0.7) and VND15,910 per litre, respectively.
Meanwhile, the prices of 0,05S diesel, kerosene and 3,5S mazut have been decreased by VND1,246 per litre, VND1,136 per litre and VND942 per kg to touch their ceiling prices of VND11,984, VND11,065 and VND8,162, respectively.
The two ministries said from December 3 to 17, a period during which the authorities calculated the global base price for fuel dealers, the price of Ron 92 was at US$53.29 a barrel, down more than $1.7, compared with the previous cycle. Meanwhile, the prices of kerosene and mazut were respectively reduced by $7.3 and more than $10 per barrel.
The petrol price was increased six times this year. — VNS