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Mobil Stalling Over Low Sulphur Diesel, Says BP

BP says Mobil is wrong in saying that Auckland would get low sulphur diesel at the expense of other New Zealand cities.

BP’s Managing Director Peter Griffiths says he is fed up with Mobil’s procrastination which is halting what should be a quick and relatively simple procedure to supply Auckland with a cleaner diesel.

The other oil companies that are supplied by the Marsden Point refinery have said they are behind the introduction of a lower sulphur diesel to Auckland.

However, Mobil opposes the move and today said it would prefer for all New Zealand to have diesel with less sulphur, rather than Auckland.

Mr Griffiths says “BP agrees that all of New Zealand should have low sulphur diesel. However, it makes more sense to capture immediate benefits by introducing low sulphur diesel to Auckland which has greater air quality problems than other cities.

“We want to get on with it and could do this very quickly if everyone agreed. Surely the best option is to attack the problem where it is worst.”

Last December BP began selling a low sulphur diesel (500 ppm) at its service stations in Christchurch, which also has significant air quality problems. Since then its diesel sales have jumped on average by about 10%.

Mr Griffiths said BP wants to see all of New Zealand supplied with a diesel of no more than 500ppm and will be making a submission to that effect to the Government as part of its review of fuel regulations.

Mr Griffiths said the Government could speed up the move to cleaner diesel nation-wide by providing incentives as governments have done elsewhere. The United Kingdom and German governments offered attractive financial incentives to introduce an ultra low sulphur diesel early. As a result, the United Kingdom moved almost totally to the new fuel within a year, six years before it was required to by law.

Mr Griffiths said that if consensus is not reached on supplying Auckland with a cleaner diesel, then BP will seriously consider options to go it alone.

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