The Vietnamese Government announced the move to E5 in June, with the current 92 RON (research octane number) gasoline coming off the market in the new year.
E5 is 5% ethanol blended with 95% gasoline. Businesses have complained that they are not prepared for the change to E5, according to a government statetement, and some consumers fear how the blend will perform in their vehicles.
In a release on Thursday 7 December, the government reaffirmed that the transition would take place and that it was up to businesses to be prepared, emphasising that 1 January was the day to complete the transition, not the day to prepare. It has also tried to inform the public about the benefits of E5 and its safety. It will also provide guidance to local governments to assist the implementation.
The Vietnamese government has previously tried to increase sales of ethanol, to limited success. Global Platts reported that the price difference between blended and unblended fuel was not big enough to encourage adoption of E5 at the time.
In a statement, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that it would be working with the Ministry of Finance to make E5 prices more attractive this time around.