The substitution of super gasoline for an ethanol mix is generating reservations among consumers. The main concern is especially for older engines, that will be damaged without modifications and constant maintenance.
Juan Ricardo Fernández, president of the Asociación de Consumidores Libres (Association of Free Consumers), considers that the unilateral move by the State refinery, RECOPE, is a trampled decision and the worst offense for the consumer imposed by that monopoly.
Last week, the RECOPE did not say it was introducing the ethanol mix as an alternative fuel, rather, replacing super with the Eco 95, pitting owners of older vehicles that have customarily used the higher octane fuel to either switch to regular or the Eco 95 and the financial impact it can have.
“That is why we are going to support initiatives that will soon come to light, such as the collection of signatures to promote a bill that would mean an opening (breaking the monopoly) of the hydrocarbons market. The consumer deserves the option of choosing from other suppliers,” said Fernández.
Erick Ulate, president of the Consumidores de Costa Rica (Consumers of Costa Rica) says his organization is waiting to see the change and has asked the RECOPE for the technical criteria for their decision.
“Yes, we are clear that it is a goal more in favor of the environment than of the consumer, but until they provide us with these criteria we cannot have a defined position. Yes, we were direct with RECOPE on the subject of price and how the product came to the country because, depending on where it is imported, the price would change and that volatility would worry us because the consumer’s pocket would be affected,” said Ulate.
As it stands right now, unless there is a change of heart on the part of the RECOPE, or a large outcry from consumers to force a change, or at least a delay, all gasoline stations across the country will, on May 29, stop dispensing super gasoline and replace it with the Eco 95.
RECOPE is the only supplier of fuels in Costa Rica. The distribution and pricing of fuels (subject to regulatory controls) are by the State refinery.