24 May 2002

Biodiesel could soon be on sale at UK pumps

By Andrew Swallow

A BIODIESEL blend might be available on British forecourts as soon as July. Initially it will be imported, but links are being forged with UK oilseed rape growers with the aim of setting up a UK supply chain.

Greenergy launched GlobalDiesel, a blend of 5% biodiesel, 95% fossil diesel, earlier this year. One large local authority is already running vehicles on it and with the 20p reduction in duty on biodiesel available from July GlobalDiesel could soon be on sale at public pumps, says the firms Kate Hinton.

"That will be the turning point in the market. We reckon if a big retailer took GlobalDiesel on we could offer it at only 1p/litre more than conventional diesel."

Advantages

Marketing a 5%-blend has several advantages over the straight green fuel, she adds. "It does not jeopardise engine manufacturer warranties and from an environmental sense biodiesel provides a greater benefit if it is mixed with the fossil fuel."

The biodiesel element of the blend comes from France, but growing and processing the fuel in the UK would make more sense from both a cost and an environmental point of view, she says.

The possibility to do that is being explored in conjunction with farmer-controlled business Renewable Energy From Agriculture (Refa).

"We are coming at it from the farming end and Greenergy from the fuel marketing expertise end," says Refa managing director Robin Twizell.

Greenergy succeeded in launching the low sulphur fuel CityDiesel at a slight premium to conventional fuels. Now he believes it could do the same for biodiesel. Growers should get involved to broaden their markets and benefit from a greater involvement up the supply chain, he says.

"We feel there is a market place for energy from agriculture as well as food. It is not instead of, but as well as."

British Association of Biofuels and Oils chairman, Peter Clery, stresses that developing a UK production facility is vital.

Only importing

The worry is that initiatives such as Greenergys GlobalDiesel play into the governments hands, giving the impression that Britain is building a green fuel industry, when in practice it is only importing it.

"Just like we import bacon from the Danes or cauliflowers from Belgium. It is doing very little to help British farmers. But if Greenergy invest in a UK processing plant and buy UK oilseed rape then I shall be delighted." &#42

Plan your day

+ Cereals 2002 logo

Refa and Greenergy will be on stand 412 at Cereals 2002 on June 12 and 13, near Sleaford, Lincs. To help you plan your whole day at Cereals 2002 visit www.cerealsevent.org.uk or the Plan Your Day feature at the entrance to the event. Watch out for our comprehensive event guide in next weeks issue of FW.

GREEN PUMPS PRIMED?

&#8226 Biodiesel blend in UK use.

&#8226 Cost about 1p/litre over fossil diesel.

&#8226 UK grower interest sought.

&#8226 On forecourts by July?

Plan your day

Refa and Greenergy will be on stand 412 at Cereals 2002 on June 12 and 13, near Sleaford, Lincs. To help you plan your whole day at Cereals 2002 visit www.cerealsevent.org.uk or the Plan Your Day feature at the entrance to the event. Watch out for our comprehensive event guide in next weeks issue of FW.

&#8226 Biodiesel blend in UK use.

&#8226 Cost about 1p/litre over fossil diesel.

&#8226 UK grower interest sought.

&#8226 On forecourts by July.