By Wezi Tjaronda WINDHOEK Namibia has become the fifth country in Africa to introduce Shell Diesel Extra, a new diesel fuel that is designed to keep the engine clean and prevent damage. The new fuel coincides with the introduction of cleaner fuels as of January this year, among others, to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere, which carbons have negative effects on the health of human beings. Since the beginning of this year, Namibia’s service stations are selling diesel with less sulphur, as it was reduced from 3000 ppm to 500 ppm, accounting for a reduction of over 80 percent. But yesterday, Shell introduced Shell Diesel Extra, which protects the vehicle from corrosion in engine fuel systems thereby controlling injector deposits and keeping them clean to improve combustion. The new fuel helps to prevent rust from forming in the engine by creating a protective layer on engine parts, keeps the fuel injectors clean so that the air and fuel continues to mix in the right proportion and keeps the engine running smooth and efficiently, as well as having an anti-foaming component that helps to give you a cleaner quicker fill. With the use of the new fuel, the filling time at a service station is also reduced because the new fuel has the anti-foaming agent. The other four countries which have introduced the fuel are Botswana, Uganda, Swaziland and Kenya. This answers concerns of consumers who felt that fuel has not kept pace with the changes in car models. According to Shell Southern Africa Fuels Category Manager, Thobile Vumazonke, owners of diesel vehicles were concerned about the quality of diesel in general and were wondering if it is good enough for their cars and also that the fuel could be improved. Both older and new generation diesel engines can use the new fuel as it helps keep the engine clean and prevents the build-up of deposits. Older engines also need to be protected from the harmful deposits, to keep them running efficiently Shell says it has extensive test results that show that all diesel vehicle technologies can derive benefits from the new fuel. “However, just how much an individual vehicle will benefit depends upon many other factors such as driver behaviour, age of vehicle engine and engine technology,” it says. Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Henock ya Kasita said when he launched the fuel yesterday: “Shell Diesel Extra has come at a right time since it coincides with the finalisation of clean fuels in Namibia.” With the new developments, Ya Kasita said, customers should capitalise on the benefits that today’s advanced diesel engines could offer. He added that the ministry being a strong proponent of cleaner fuels for the sake of protecting the environment, would not compromise its stance but support efforts geared towards the protection of the environment. Ya Kasita urged other fuel companies to put in place mechanisms aimed at safeguarding the environment. In European markets, diesel vehicles have now become more popular, so much so that they account for 50 percent of new car registrations, and Shell anticipates this trend to manifest itself in Namibia, especially because diesel can also be used in bakkies, 4x4s and luxury vehicles as opposed to just trucks and buses, which was the case in the past.
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