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Discussion document on proposed engine fuel changes released

2 September 2015

Discussion document on proposed engine fuel changes released

MBIE has today released a discussion document proposing a range of changes to the Engine Fuels Specifications Regulations 2011.

The regulations set out minimum standards for the performance of fuel and limit components that could be harmful to the environment and public health, says Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment energy markets policy manager Jamie Kerr.

They are regularly updated to keep pace with new technologies and the fuel specifications of other countries, as well as to secure other social benefits.

“The three key changes proposed are: a significant reduction in sulphur levels in petrol, the introduction of a total oxygen limit in petrol and raising the biodiesel blend limit,” says Mr Kerr.

“We’re proposing to reduce sulphur levels in petrol from 50 parts per million to 10 parts per million. Sulphur occurs naturally in crude oils and is reduced during the refining process.

“Lowering the levels of sulphur in petrol would reduce a range of harmful emissions. The estimated social benefits of this proposal have been modelled at $34 million per annum,” Mr Kerr says.

“Another proposal involves raising the biodiesel blend limit in diesel from five percent to seven percent. This would support the Government’s goal of promoting biofuels where this is technically and commercially viable and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The proposed introduction of a total oxygen limit in petrol and individual oxygenate limits aims to improve the flexibility available to fuel suppliers and potentially reduce some costs to consumers. This would align these specifications with those of Europe – typically seen as the benchmark standard.

“These are just proposals at this stage and the fuel and motoring industries, as well as members of the public will have the opportunity to provide their feedback through the submission process,” Mr Kerr says.

More information, including the submission process, is available on the MBIE website.


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