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ARC Supports Cleaner Diesel Nationwide

June 19, 2001

The Auckland Regional Council has welcomed Mobil’s commitment to reducing sulphur levels in diesel throughout New Zealand but believes it should happen in conjunction with the Auckland initiative the council is promoting.

ARC Chairman Philip Warren says his council will happily work with Mobil and anyone else who wants to pursue lower sulphur levels in New Zealand diesel, and in fact is already doing so.

“But as Mobil themselves have stated, lowering sulphur levels nationwide is a medium term measure and realistically could not happen before the end of the year. It may take longer,” Cr Warren says.

“What we’re saying to Mobil is that if they are serious about their stated commitment to lower sulphur diesel they should support our initiative for immediate change in Auckland.

“There is no question that introduction of lower sulphur to the Auckland market would represent the biggest immediate gain, nationally, on this issue.

“The sensible approach would be to so this, which as I have said, could be done using existing refinery capacity and at a cost of less than one cent per litre, and then work together – the refinery, the oil companies, ARC and Central Government – on the national levels.

“Mobil need to come on board to prove that their concern for the whole country is not simply a delaying tactic. Until they do, I will remain extremely skeptical as to their motives.

“After all they are a shareholder in the New Zealand Refinery Company and have known of its spare capacity for sulphur reduction for some years. They haven’t shown any inclination to use it for the greater good until now.”

Cr Warren says Mobil is well aware that the ARC backs cleaner diesel throughout New Zealand and is lobbying central government and generating public debate to try and achieve exactly that.

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