“A discussion paper seeking comment on standards for biodiesel/diesel blends, released last week by the Minister for the Environment, Senator Campbell is a step forward for the emerging biodiesel industry and should attract a broad range of views from the industry,” Leader of The Nationals in the Senate, Ron Boswell, said today.
Senator Boswell said he had taken representatives from the biodiesel industry to meet with Senator Campbell in September to discuss the need for clarification on the issue of acceptable blends and standards for this industry.
“I thank the Minister for the Environment for responding to my concerns and those of the industry representatives by releasing this discussion paper,” Senator Boswell said.
“Biodiesel manufacture is a new and exciting industry opportunity, which is being hamstrung by uncertainty over acceptable blends, from a standards, labelling and taxation perspective.
“There is a lot of investment at stake in this industry and clarification of these issues, to allow manufacturers to fine tune their product is needed as a matter of urgency.
“Biodiesel blend standards are essential for manufacturers whose product is sold both in retail fuel outlets and through large orders to the mining, forestry, and agricultural industries.
“A number of rural producers are also investigating the benefits of on-farm biodiesel manufacture and it is vital the standards that result from this discussion paper take into account the variety of biodiesel applications,” he said.
Senator Boswell said some confusion has arisen because fuel quality standards exist for petroleum diesel and biodiesel but not for blends of the two. There is also no specific standard for BP’s renewable diesel product that is currently being developed.
“There are broad parameters that necessarily exist within any fuel standard to allow for differences in manufacture and, in the case of biodiesel, feedstock and clarification of blend specifications have arisen as major issues,” Senator Boswell said.
“By the end of the year, Australian biodiesel manufacturers will have the capacity to produce more than 500 megalitres of biodiesel. However, there is currently only about 60 megalitres being sold in the transport market mostly to independent fuel retailers or directly to large industry users. Only about 5 megalitres of biodiesel are sold through the major oil companies.
“I encourage all participants and potential participants in the biodiesel industry to review the discussion paper and forward their comments to the Minister by the deadline of January 2007,” Senator Boswell said.
A copy of the paper can be found at :www.deh.gov.au .
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