Belgium Bans Exports of “Soiled Fuels” to West Africa


The Port of Antwerp will not be utilized by oil firms and merchants to export so-called soiled fuels to West Africa. The Belgium authorities banned the export of poisonous motor fuels which are extremely dangerous to public well being and the surroundings.

Belgium’s Minister of Surroundings Zakia Khattabi introduced the nation has banned the exports of poisonous fuels which are domestically prohibited however proceed to be shipped to West African nations together with Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon. This comes following the Royal assent of a brand new laws that seeks to tighten the standard of exported fuels.

The ban targets oil firms that export motor fuels, primarily from the port of Antwerp, with excessively excessive sulfur or benzene content material which have lengthy been banned in Europe because of their dangerous results. Information present that oil firms have been exporting soiled fuels with a sulfur content material as excessive as 1,500 ppm (elements per million), far exceeding European requirements which are capped at 10 ppm.

In imposing the ban that may take impact after three months, Belgium highlights that the requirements it applies at residence to guard the surroundings and residents from the dangerous results of poisonous fuels also needs to apply to exported merchandise. The nation now joins the Netherlands which in April 2023 additionally banned the export of low-quality gasoline and diesel to West Africa by way of the ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Netherlands’ resolution to cease the exports meant that Antwerp, Belgium’s essential sea terminal for oil commerce (each crude and oil merchandise), grew to become Europe’s essential hub for exporting the poisonous fuels. Antwerp is centrally positioned and as such a essential port for liquid bulk cargoes. The port has emerged as a number one European oil and chemical hub. About 30 firms working within the oil and chemical sector, together with at the very least 10 high world gamers, are positioned in Antwerp’s port space which additionally has two main refineries.

S&P International Commodities at Sea knowledge present that West Africa imported about 137,000 barrels per day of gasoline from Belgium in April, an 18 p.c improve in comparison with the identical interval final 12 months.

Khattabi highlighted that the Netherlands’ resolution to limit the exports of soiled fuels has seen the commerce shift to Belgium, which is now being utilized by oil producers and merchants to export gasoline with excessively excessive ranges of benzene and sulfur.

“For a lot too lengthy, poisonous fuels have been departing from Belgium to locations together with Africa. They trigger extraordinarily poor air high quality in nations equivalent to Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon and are even carcinogenic,” stated Khattabi.

The transfer to ban the exports of soiled fuels was taken in collaboration with the Ministries of Vitality and Public Well being.


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