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New regulations for fuel specifications

Hon Judith Collins

Minister of Energy and Resources
22 August 2017

New regulations for fuel specifications

New regulations for New Zealand’s fuel specifications will support the growth of lower-emission fuels that are better for people, the environment and cars, Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins announced today.

The Regulations set out minimum standards for fuel performance, and change incrementally over time to keep up with new technology and international best practice.

“There are four significant changes – three that enable greater fuel supply choice and market-led innovation in the fuel mix; and one to reduce harmful emissions:

· Introducing a total oxygen limit, which potentially allows a wider range of fuel blends;

· Increasing New Zealand’s limit for methanol in petrol from one to three per cent volume;

· Raising the biodiesel blend limit in diesel from five to seven per cent; and

· Reducing the sulphur level allowed in petrol from 50 to 10 parts per million.

“The changes carry multiple benefits for consumers and for our environment.

“Three of the changes – the introduction of a total oxygen limit, increasing the biodiesel blend limit, and increasing the methanol blend limit – could potentially allow more flexibility in fuel mixes, a reduction in harmful emissions and increased diversity and enhanced security of local supply.

“The other change of reducing the sulphur level in petrol is specifically targeted to reduce harmful emissions, which will have health and environmental benefits. This is consistent with the most stringent fuel standards in the world, most notably in Europe, Japan and the United States,” says Ms Collins.

All of the amendments will take effect from 2 October 2017, apart from the change to the maximum sulphur level, which will come into effect on 1 July 2018.

More information is available at:


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