Caltex Australia has welcomed the decision on new quality standards for petrol and diesel announced yesterday by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, as part of the government's clean fuels agenda.
The new standards demonstrate the government's strong commitment to the environment and will help to greatly reduce air pollution in urban areas, Caltex said.
"The new fuel standards, coupled to government incentives for early production, will help deliver important environmental benefits through cleaner urban air and will facilitate the introduction of new, cleaner and more efficient engine technologies," Caltex managing director and CEO Dave Reeves said.
"The government's clean air program, including the new standards, means that by 2010 smog-forming hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions will be much lower than today. Fine particulate emissions will also be greatly reduced. This is despite strong growth in vehicle usage. By 2020, emissions of all these pollutants will be further reduced significantly.
"Despite the high cost of new refining equipment, Caltex is proud to contribute to achieving these major reductions in air pollution. The new standards are comparable to moves in Europe, North America and Asia to improve air quality and will help ensure Australia's fuels and vehicles are among the cleanest in the world," Mr Reeves said.
"Caltex aims to be ahead of its competitors with cleaner petrol and diesel that meet the 2008/9 standards. Caltex will bypass the next round of fuel standards required from 2006 and will instead produce petrol and diesel in 2006 and 2007 respectively to the more advanced standards that have just been announced, provided the government's cleaner fuels incentives make this economic."
The new standards will reduce the allowable levels of sulphur in premium unleaded petrol (PULP) and diesel. The standards build on the Government's decision in 1999 to introduce and progressively tighten mandatory fuel quality standards from 2002 under Measures for a Better Environment.
From January 1 2008, the maximum level of sulphur in PULP will be 50 parts per million (ppm), compared with 150ppm today. The maximum level of sulphur in diesel will be reduced to 10ppm from January 1 2009, compared with 500ppm today and 50ppm from 2006.