Currently the sulphur content of the diesel Mozambique imports is 500 parts per million (ppm) and this is to be replaced by diesel with only 50 ppm of sulphur.
At a Maputo media briefing on Thursday, Paulino said the purpose of the change was to reduce pollution, and improve environmental conditions.
The official said the government wanted to modernize since it was also aware that many refineries are simply no longer producing diesel with 500 ppm sulphur.
Paulino added that the advantage of switching to low sulphur diesel would be felt not only in terms of a cleaner environment but also in greater efficiency of vehicle engines.
“This will lead to better performance of our engines. It will increase their useful life and improve fuel efficiency, so the change is going to occur and we are coordinating it with the fuel distribution companies”, he added.
After such a switch engine performance is expected to improve, because 50 ppm diesel has cleaner and more effective combustion properties than 500 ppm diesel.
Also the low sulphur diesel causes less wear and tear and therefore prolongs engine life.
Paulino said that the switch to 50 ppm diesel will have no impact on the cost of diesel at the fuel pumps.
Mozambique imports every year about 1.5 million cubic metres of petroleum products and 70 percent of this is diesel.
“Thus when we migrate from 500 ppm to 50 ppm diesel, there will be a very large positive environmental impact, for vehicles and for public health”, said Paulino.
The switch to low sulphur diesel is supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Eventually there will be a further shift, to diesel with a sulphur content of only 10 ppm.