8 April 2004

Greener fuel message spreads

A Teesside firm involved in the production of a new form of environmentally-friendly fuel has spread the message of its success into Europe.

Petroplus addressed more than 100 oil industry delegates at the recent European Fuels Conference in Paris about the business and environmental benefits of using biodiesel. For the past year the company has been making ‘Bio-Plus’, a 95/5pc blend of its conventional Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel with oils from a variety of renewable seed-based sources, at its Teesside Crude Oil Refinery at North Tees. And since introducing the blend into its own fleet of 22 road tankers, it has noticed major reductions in harmful exhaust emissions as well as a big improvement in the overall miles-per-gallon fuel efficiency of the vehicles.

Ian Waller, of Petroplus, who addressed the conference, said: “The product is really taking off and everyone was extremely impressed with the environmental benefits we have noticed.” Petroplus, the UK’s biggest marketer of biodiesel, is already part of a consortium of North-east businesses supporting a UK ‘field-to-forecourt’ initiative where farmers are being encouraged to grow oilseed rape to be used as a supplement to diesel in engines. Teesside is also being considered as a potential location for a £25m biodiesel plant which would use thousands of tonnes of the crop as a raw material.

Petroplus is considering expansion of biodiesel capacity at North Tees above its current 20,000 tonnes a month level to meet customer demand – mainly from large fleet operators.

Source: IC Teesside.co.uk vom 2004-04-07.

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