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Biofuel delay not necessary say manufacturers

New Zealand Biofuel Manufacturers Association

For immediate release: April 22 2008

Biofuel delay not necessary say manufacturers

Fuel cost increases due to the introduction of biofuels are likely to be insignificant compared with recent price hikes for petrol and diesel says the New Zealand Biofuel Manufacturers Association.

NZBMA spokesman Dickon Posnett says consumers have every right to be guarded about anything that would put further stress on their finances. The AA’s Petrolwatch reports show the dramatic increases in fuel costs in the past three years. Diesel, for example, was at $1.51 at some Auckland outlets this week – up 26c/litre since the start of the year.

But consumers shouldn’t believe that blending in biofuels will hike prices even more, Mr Posnett says. Members of the NZBMA say their current calculations show biofuels would not increase fuel costs by 4c – 7c/litre suggested in some reports.

New Zealand consumers also have to ask themselves if they want to keep burning fossil fuels, or start to develop some self-sufficiency in fuels like other countries Mr Posnett says.

“Lost in the confusion over how much biofuels might cost are the original reasons for introducing biofuels. NZ has the natural resources to produce its own sustainable biofuels that science-based reports prove reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide other benefits for motoring. NZ manufacturers are already using these resources to a limited extent to produce sustainable biodiesel.

“Not introducing biofuels means keeping burning fossil fuels – petrol and diesel – and not reducing GHG emissions from transport, the sector that contributes around 40% of those emissions.”

The NZBMA last week welcomed a delay to a select committee report to Parliament on the Biofuel Bill. The report, originally due April 15, has been held over until early June. Mr Posnett says the association is taking the opportunity to provide more information on how the manufacturers believe renewable fuels can be introduced.

Suggestions that it would be too hard to introduce sustainability reporting for biofuels do not acknowledge the United Kingdom system already in place. That system is being fine tuned as more information comes to light on the sustainability and GHG levels of each type of biofuel.

The NZBMA believes New Zealand should utilise the same transitional system as it works towards environmental performance targets for biofuels Mr Posnett says.

“Introducing biofuels legislation now means New Zealand would gain control over the biofuels used and enable their quality, levels of GHG emissions and sustainability criteria to be regulated.”

The NZBMA is recommending that the biofuel sales obligation is implemented as soon as possible to

* make a start on reducing NZ’s greenhouse gas emissions

* introduce a science-based approach to monitor the environmental performance of any biofuel sold in NZ

* promote the continued development of biofuel technology and a skilled workforce in NZ.


About the NZBMA:

The aim of the Association is: ‘To support the growth and development of a sustainable Biofuel industry in NZ’

Supporting this statement:

1. Argent Energy New Zealand Ltd

2. Biodiesel New Zealand

3. Biodiesel Oils NZ Ltd

4. Ecodiesel Ltd

5. Biodiesel Australasia Ltd

6. Flo-Dry Engineering Ltd

7. Pure Power Technology Ltd

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