Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai ordered preparations to be made to boost the distribution and consumption of biofuel E5 RON 92 nationwide.
The minister was speaking at a meeting on Tuesday to review the results achieved in the first half of this year.
Statistics revealed at the meeting showed that the consumption of biofuel E5 remained modest and far below expectations. It is estimated to account for some 3 per cent of petrol retail sales.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s report, biofuel E5 was put on sale in eight provinces and cities across the country: Quang Ngai, Da Nang, Ha Noi, HCM City, Hai Phong, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Can Tho and Quang Nam. More than 87,087 tonnes were sold in the first four months of this year.
Deputy Director of Ha Noi Department of Industry and Trade Tran Thi Lan Phuong pointed out that consumers were still hesitant to use biofuel E5 due to the lack of knowledge about its features and benefits.
Meanwhile, low consumption discouraged petrol traders from investing in the distribution of biofuel E5 as the investment and transportation costs could be high.
At the meeting, Hai asked biofuel E5 wholesalers to strictly follow the roadmap for biofuel E5 distribution raised in Decision No 53/2012/QD-TTg.
Hai said raising awareness among consumers about biofuel E5 was also an important job along with raising the appropriate technical standards for biofuel.
Local authorities should closely co-operate with petrol wholesalers in producing and distributing biofuel E5 to prevent a shortage in the retail market.
Central Quang Ngai Province sold biofuel E5 from July last year, becoming the first province in the country to sell biofuel E5, with most of its retail petrol stations participating in selling the fuel.
Some 70 per cent of stations in Da Nang now sell biofuel E5, while percentages in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ha Noi, Can Tho and Hai Phong were 24, 20.4, 16.4 and 7, respectively.
Other provinces and cities were gearing up to push E5 RON 92 into the market, and the biofuel was expected to be widely used throughout the country from this December.
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