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Chch second city to trial buses run on biodiesel

Nicky Wagner MP
National Party Associate Environment Spokeswoman

11 September 2006

Chch second city to trial buses run on biodiesel

Christchurch has become the second New Zealand city after Auckland to trial some of its bus fleet on cleaner-burning biodiesel, says National Associate Environment spokeswoman Nicky Wagner.

"The 12-month trial was a major step towards improving Christchurch's urban air quality.

"National sees alternative fuels as part of the solution to climate change and energy security. This trial is expected to show biodiesel can be an efficient and cost-effective alternative to dirty-burning fuels.

``The rapid growth of passenger transport in this country is essential to controlling congestion on roads and improving air quality. We won't need to import as much imported crude oil either.

The trial, run by Environment Canterbury, was launched in Cathedral Square today. Ms Wagner is chairwoman of Environment Canterbury's public passenger portfolio.

"The trial will create awareness among the public and visitors that biodiesel is a serious alternative for the future. Other cities around the world have been successfully running biodiesel buses for some years," she says.

"Four Christchurch buses will use the biodiesel blend of both plant oil and animal fat. Other types of biodiesel may be introduced into some of the buses during the trial.

"New Zealand's transport sector has the fastest growing demand for energy and is responsible for 45% of New Zealand's greenhouse emissions.

"This trial will help evaluate the potential to convert not just buses but also trucks and taxis to run on biodiesel."

The biggest potential source of biodiesel in New Zealand is tallow, an animal fat that is a by-product of meat processing. New Zealand produces around 150,000 tonnes of tallow a year, most of which could be made into biodiesel.

ENDS

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