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Shell Backs ARC Diesel Initiative

Monday 11 June, 2001

Auckland Regional Council Chairman Philip Warren is delighted that Shell New Zealand Limited has today confirmed its support for an ARC initiative to provide lower sulphur diesel to the Auckland market.

The initiative would see sulphur levels in Auckland’s diesel supply drop more than half (from a maximum of 3000 parts per million to 1000 parts per million) almost immediately and at minimal cost. The only prerequisite for this is the support of all four major oil companies.

Shell confirmed today it is 100% committed to this initiative but realises that all four major oil companies need to be committed for it to be practical for the New Zealand Refinery Company to make the change.

The company considers this initiative as one element of a larger strategy which includes addressing Auckland’s congestion problem, a Government review of fuel quality specifications, introducing regulations on vehicle emissions and making an emissions check part of vehicle testing.

Shell sees the move to 1000 parts per million as being a voluntary initiative which would put the major oil companies in New Zealand one step ahead of the Government regulations on fuel specifications which are due out in the not to distant future.

ARC Chairman Philip Warren welcomes Shell’s support which leaves Mobil as the only one of the four major oil companies holding out against the change.

“With BP, Caltex and Shell behind the initiative, and Challenge and Gull also backing it, I would encourage the people of Auckland to show their support for these companies when deiciding where to buy their fuel,” Cr Warren says.

“We are very hopeful that Mobil will come to the party and we would expect to have discussions with them over the coming days.”

Cr Warren says support for the ARC’s initiative has continued to pour in over the weekend and today.

He says a strong public statement of support from the Motor Industry Association, which represents New Zealand’s vehicle distributors, must be seen as very significant.

“What all this support says to me is that people don’t give a dam about the less than one cent a litre cost of this but rather they care about the 1000kg per day of fine particulate this would remove from the air they breathe,” he says.

“People care about the positive environmental outcome for Auckland that this opportunity brings and that is the very reason my council is determined to pursue it.”

Chairman Warren is encouraging anyone wishing to show their support for the ARC’s initiative to take a minute, log on to www.smokey.org.nz/icare and fill in the coupon.

Ends

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