UNBS plans green engine oil standards

Containers of crude oil in Hoima. PHOTO/ FILE

What you need to know:

  • Oils and lubricants used in vehicles and factories must have minimum impact in terms of emission and pollution even on health and safety.

Oil and lubricants sector players are plotting ways of introducing safe engine oil standards on the market.

Led by Uganda National Bureau of Standards  (UNBS) and Ministry of Energy, the stakeholders revised the minimum requirements for Engine oil standards that all engine oil dealers must adhere to, before putting their products on the market.

Mr David Livingstone Ebiru, the executive director UNBS said, “We want to make sure that the issues of emissions, pollution, disposal and waste management are clearly looked at”.

These standards must encompass growing technologies that are favourable for green energy.

Environmental impact

The oils and lubricants used in vehicles and factories must have minimum impact in terms of emission and pollution even on health and safety when operating vehicles and machinery.

Mr Anthony Ogalo, the general manager Sustainable Energies and Petroleum Association of Uganda, said the standard is as good as its implementation, imploring UNBS to be more intentional at implementation level.

“We are going to put together very technical things that will make sure the lubricants and oils made in Uganda are of perfect quality,” Mr Ogalo says.

He warned those who will try to short cut the process by putting fake products on the market as these will undermine the quality of engine oil standards.

But for Uganda to benefit from the international markets, sector players must be compliant to quality standards.

Some manufacturers have installed in-house laboratories to ensure quality which is being endorsed by UNBS in a bid to decentralise services.

Every five years, the regulator revises existing standards to keep up with the evolving technologies and market dynamics.

The next step will be going to Arusha to join the rest of the East African countries to harmonise standards to foster utilisation of the East African market.

“A standard is a non-tariff barrier that can limit exportation even though as a country we have been able to lobby for access to many international markets,” Mr Ebiru says.

Benefits of improved oil
The benefit of using improved grade oils include improved «robustness» since the oils have the ability to protect engines from wear and heating while still delivering good fuel economy with low emissions.

Secondly, improved oils need fewer car servicing. Therefore, they reduce the amount of waste oil that would rather be circulated into the environment.