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Media Release
Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

9 December 2004

Ethanol fuel quality report released


The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today released the technical report, Setting a Quality Standard for Fuel Ethanol, as part of the Australian Government's work to improve Australia's fuel and air quality.

"This technical report is another important step in building consumer confidence in ethanol blended fuel," Senator Campbell said.

"Sales of flexible fuel vehicles are increasing overseas which point to considerable potential for increased uptake of ethanol blends in Australia. These vehicles can run on petrol or a combination of ethanol and petrol at a range of blends up to 85% ethanol."

Senator Campbell said a report for the Government by the International Fuel Quality Centre in the United States supported the view that a100 per cent (E100) ethanol standard represented the optimal approach to covering the various uses and blends of fuel ethanol now and in the future.

The report said ethanol could be used as an additive/enhancer to petrol at the 10 per cent level in most modern vehicles but could also be used at higher percentages in specially-designed flexible fuel vehicles.

Senator Campbell said setting quality standards for fuels achieved reductions of vehicle emissions and facilitated adoption of better and more efficient engine operation. National fuel quality standards for petrol, diesel, LPG and biodiesel had already been implemented.

"We are seeking comments from interested parties to help Government determine the best approach to setting a quality standard for fuel ethanol," Senator Campbell said.

The Government has also released the final report on the testing program on the impact of 20 per cent ethanol on the Australian vehicle fleet. The report's findings support the Australian Government's decision to cap ethanol at 10 per cent. The 10 per cent cap commenced on 1 July last year.

The reports can be found at http://www.deh.gov.au/atmosphere/ethanol/index.html

Media contacts:
Wayne Grant 02 6277 7640 or 0407 845 280

Commonwealth of Australia