Germany will push ahead with E10, despite low demand – minister

08 March 2011 19:22  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Germany will continue introducing 10%-bioethanol blended gasoline (E10) at its pumps, a minister said on Tuesday, even though the sale of the fuel has not met expected demand, forcing refiners to curb production.

Economics minister Rainer Bruderle said he had met with leaders from the refining, car and biofuels sectors and agreed with them that more needed to be done to address drivers’ fears that E10, which has been approved for sale in Germany since 1 January, could damage car engines.

Germany’s oil and refining industry, for example, would post lists of all cars that could take E10 at the country’s petrol stations, he said.

According to refining industry group MWV, about 90% of all cars on Germany’s roads can run on E10.

Bruderle said E10 played an important role in helping Germany reduce its carbon dioxide (C2) emissions from the transport sector while, at the same time, reducing the country’s dependence on imported oil.

However, in a statement, the economics ministry said there was no obligation on the part of refiners to offer E10.

Rather, refiners were offering E10 because it enabled them to come into compliance with EU fuel quality standards. If refiners failed to comply, they would face penalties, the ministry said.

The ministry also acknowledged that bioethanol and other renewable fuels continued to face criticism over their effects on food production and the environment.

However, Germany’s regulations on sustainable renewable fuels would ensure that renewable fuels did actually achieve targeted contributions, the ministry said.

In related news, market sources told ICIS on Tuesday that German refiner PCK cut propylene production at its fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) in Schwedt in Brandenburg state because of the low demand for E10 gasoline.

PCK produces propylene as a by-product of gasoline.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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