Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi stated in Dhahran today that the introduction on January 1, 2001 of unleaded gasoline at the Kingdom's pumps will ensure healthier air for all, and that it takes place one year ahead of the deadline fixed by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Effective tomorrow, refineries in Ras Tanurah, Riyadh, Jeddah and Yanbu will be producing unleaded gasoline. Over the next year, the new gasoline will mix with the old currently in storage with no adverse effects.
Aramco has given assurances that to use the lead-free fuel no adjustment is need to the engines of vehicles currently on the roads. The fuel will provide the same power and performance, and the octane rating of 95 will be maintained. Cars over five years old, however, would need special maintenance. By 2003, importers will be able to import vehicles equipped with chemical transformers, which contribute to curbing the negative impact of emissions on the environment.