Germany E10 launch hits snag, but refiners will not pull fuel

03 March 2011 17:21  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Germany’s introduction of 10% bioethanol-blended gasoline (E10) has hit a roadblock as many drivers avoid the fuel, fearing it may harm the engines of their cars, a refining trade group said on Thursday.

MWV said demand for E10 was “dramatically low”, forcing refineries to adjust production accordingly.

However, Germany’s refining industry would not pull E10 from the market, the group said, dismissing as inaccurate reports that it had decided to do so.

Germany last year approved E10 for sale at the country’s 15,000 petrol stations from 1 January 2011, in compliance with EU rules requiring Europe's largest economy to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

MWV said that instead of filling up with E10, which was suitable for about 90% of all cars on Germany’s roads, drivers were filling up their tanks with a Super Plus brand.

As a result, refiners and petrol stations were running short of Super Plus while sitting on unsold stocks of E10, the group said.

However, Germany’s bioethanol industry group BDB said refiners were partly to blame for the problem because information provided as to the technical compatibility of E10 was inadequate.

According to MWV, so far about 45% of Germany’s petrol stations have been converted and upgraded to supply E10.

In related news, the US Environmental Protection Agency recently authorised the use of 15% ethanol (E15) blends for older-model passenger cars.

Check out Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals Blog for views on sustainability issues

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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