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Swain welcomes industry trials to lower sulphur

23 July, 2001 Media Statement
Swain welcomes industry trials to lower sulphur in diesel

Associate Energy Minister Paul Swain has welcomed industry suggested trials to look at ways of lowering New Zealand's sulphur levels in diesel in the short term.

The government is undertaking a comprehensive review of the rules governing the quality and safety of the fuel New Zealanders use in their vehicles and the government plans to release a discussion document on that review in early August.

"But given recent public concern over sulphur levels in diesel, particularly in Auckland, I have approached the oil industry asking them to consider ways to address that issue in the interim," Paul Swain said.

"There have been two schools of thought. Whether to lower sulphur levels in Auckland alone, or to drop average levels across New Zealand as a whole.

"I am very pleased to announce this industry trial process today which addresses both those proposals.

"The industry will be running two trials of six weeks each. The first will be the lowering of sulphur in diesel for just the Auckland market (aimed at 1000ppm) and the second to lower sulphur in diesel across all New Zealand.

"These trials are a sensible way forward. They will provide valuable data to help create a transitional solution to the sulphur in diesel issue until the government's review of petrol and diesel is completed.

"As well as this trial by the industry over the next three months, I am also suggesting that all New Zealanders pay attention to the running of their vehicles. Part of the solution to air-quality in major cities is for people to ensure their vehicles are tuned regularly.

"I will be asking for a report from the industry at the end of the trial process," Paul Swain said.

For a copy of the NZ Refinery Report on this issue please contact - Evelyn Cole – Ministry of Economic Development - 04 474 2611

For other releases by Paul Swain go to: http://www.executive.govt.nz/minister/swain/index.html

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