A quality assurance scheme to combat adulteration of fuel in the Irish Republic has been expanded.

The Irish Petrol Retailers Association (IPRA) has extended its scheme for petrol retailers into Counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.

David Blevings, spokesperson for the IPRA, said: “We launched a quality assurance (QA) scheme in Louth and Meath last year and we have seen a very positive response from consumers and retailers alike. The scheme offers consumers the satisfaction of knowing that retailers who display the QA sign at their forecourt are part of an independent scheme which provides consumers with confidence that the fuel they are purchasing meets the current Irish road fuels specification.”

Blevings said that while the Irish authorities had recently had some success in curbing availability of laundered fuel, where agricultural fuel is illegally processed so it appears to be legitimate for consumer use, a new threat had appeared in the form of ‘petrol stretching’ where substances such as kerosene are used, and which has seen many motorists’ left with hefty repair bills after damage to car engines.

He said the IPRA had launched its quality assurance scheme to combat this problem, and it means that the retailers who display its QA logo verify their suppliers and sign up to a random testing protocol for their fuel.

Brevings added: “We firmly believe, independent, random testing is a major deterrent for retailers who wish to sell abused fuel. The legitimate retailer who has nothing to fear will have no qualms about testing and should see his trade increase.”

Consumers looking to locate their nearest retailer taking part in the IPRA QA scheme can search the retailer map at www.ipra.ie.