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Gull calls for biofuels mandate

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

 Gull New Zealand’ GM Dave Bodger today commented that the Climate Change Commission’s Draft Report Gull’s is a great start but to decarbonise says but one unintended consequence is putting all of New Zealand’s transport eggs in one basket.

Bodger says the Climate Change Commission’s Draft Report (Draft Report) has really engaged the whole of New Zealand in the discussion that we must decarbonise and start now.

"However, the draft report’s primary focus is about changing the national fleet to predominantly electric vehicles. This places all our eggs in one basket. The existing fleet can begin decarbonising now by moving to biofuels "

Bodger adds, "Biofuels are manufactured now from plant sugars, plant oils or from animal by-products (tallow). Unfortunately these feedstocks are always more expensive than crude oil out of the ground. The final product is thus more expensive than mineral petrol or diesel. Therefore, biofuels only exist in meaningful quantities around the world where there is Government mandate, subsidy, or both. "

Bodger notes that biofuels are tried and true and biofuels have been with us for many years.

"Let’s not forget that Henry Ford designed the Model T to accept petrol or ethanol as its fuel and the first diesel engine operated on peanut oil. Gull was the first in New Zealand and has been successfully retailing our 98 octane premium petrol Gull Force 10 since August 2007. Gull has also a long history in retailing biodiesel and until mid-2017 was directly involved in the operation of a Queensland biodiesel production facility. "

"This has been enabled by the Government’s excise exemption on ethanol working as a subsidy. Without that we would not have got going. In addition, without support Gull has seen many biodiesel start-ups fail as the product is more expensive than mineral diesel. "

Lastly, Bodger observes that a mandate with the existing subsidy will establish a market and move all parties along a path to decarbonisation.

"New Zealand has mandate legislation ready to go it was in law until 2008 but was repealed before it came into effect. We believe it would have worked and substantially accelerated our decarbonisation with the existing fleet. All we need to do is blow the dust off the old version and bring it in to play."

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