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

2 September 2005

Massive investment in clean diesel for WA

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today opened a new $60 million facility at BP's Kwinana refinery that will dramatically clean up diesel in Western Australia.

Senator Campbell said this substantial investment in the state's new environmentally friendly and economically efficient petroleum refinery was a major boost to Western Australia's energy supplies.

The Minister said BP had been one of the industry leaders in the move to cleaner transport fuels and he congratulated them on commissioning the new facility.

He said sulfur was the key to cleaner fuels.

“Once sulfur in fuels comes down to low levels, we are then able to take advantage of the very latest technology in catalysts and engines,” Senator Campbell said.

“This impressive technology at the new refinery will use hydrogen gas, under enormous pressure, to remove most of the sulfur from crude oil.

“These clean fuels and emissions control equipment work together to increase engine efficiency, lowering greenhouse gas emissions. We also can reduce emissions of carbon monoxide, particulates and unburned hydrocarbons,” he said.

Senator Campbell said clean fuels were important for vehicles but the health effects of vehicle tailpipe emissions impact on us all, especially in urban areas.

The technology at the refinery will produce a 10-fold drop in the sulfur level of diesel fuel, from 500 parts per million (ppm) to 50 ppm. This means every drop of diesel from Kwinana - more than 7.5 million litres each day - will be cleaner than ever before, and will meet the government's new fuel standard well before the required date of 1 January 2006.

Senator Campbell said the government's clean fuel agenda, started in 2002, sets increasingly tight fuel standards out to 2009. These measures are estimated to reduce health costs by $3.4 billion over the next 15 years.

The new Kwinana unit uses no potable water, and the sulfur recovered from the crude is used in fertilizer manufacture.

This new equipment is part of the massive investment worth more than $2 billion being made by Australian refineries to meet the government's clean fuel agenda.

Media Contact:
Renae Stoikos 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia