Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad says we could see the addition of RON95 petrol at the fuel pumps in 2009, perhaps replacing RON92 fuel. The government had actually proposed something like this in April this year, suggesting a change of the fuels offered at stations to subsidised RON95 and unsubsidised RON99 fuel.
The best part or should I say the most hopeful part is he says the government will be trying to price it at the same level as RON92 fuel, which is currently about 10 sen (or 5%) cheaper than RON97 fuel at RM1.90 per litre versus RM2.00 per litre for RON97. If they do this, they also have to work on getting more stations to stock the lower octane fuel as some of them currently only stock RON97 fuel.
Many engines are tuned to run either on RON91, RON95 or RON98, with RON98 being rare but commonly specified for rather aggressively tuned high compression engines like the Honda Civic Type R or even the BMW’s N52 normally aspirated engine family.
It’s not much of a saving, but it’s still something. Even some budget cars like the new Proton Saga with the 1.3 litre Campro IAFM engine requires at least RON95 so it cannot use the cheaper RON92 fuel. Replacing RON92 with RON95 will allow the new Proton Saga to use a cheaper grade of fuel and not pay for something it does not need.
In other related fuel price news, Datuk Shahrir also said the government deserves to profit from low crude oil prices via fuel taxes as it had given out subsidies on per litre fuel prices when crude oil prices were high, as well as the RM625 rebate.
However it seems that the fuel tax revenue that the government is earning right now is only a temporary thing until they decide whether to set a floor price for fuel, which will be discussed on the 1st of December 2008.