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Biofuels in New South Wales

The New South Wales Government is ensuring that ethanol-blended petrol is becoming widely available.  A mandate has been set requiring 6% of the total volume of petrol sold in NSW is ethanol.

This means that cheaper, cleaner and greener fuel is available at more petrol pumps in New South Wales.

Biofuels, such as ethanol, are good for the environment, create jobs in regional NSW, help farmers, and reduce our reliance on foreign fuel imports.

This does not mean that all fuel sold will contain ethanol, but provides you with a choice at the pump to fill up with E10 petrol, which contains a blend of 10% ethanol.

Under the ethanol mandate, primary petrol wholesalers need to ensure that ethanol makes up the defined minimum percentage of the total volume of NSW sales.

Petrol companies are ramping up the availability of ethanol biofuels which means more ethanol-blended petrol is available at more NSW petrol pumps.

Most NSW cars that use ULP can safely use 10% ethanol-blended fuel (E10).

The ethanol mandate is designed to encourage broader use of ethanol and other biofuels in NSW. 

A state-wide 2% average ethanol content was achieved in September 2008, less than 12 months after the commencement of the mandate. 

When amending legislation commenced on 1 October 2009, it:

  • increased the volumetric ethanol mandate to 4% (from 1 January 2010) and later 6% (from 1 January 2011, later deferred until 1 October 2011), before requiring all regular grade unleaded petrol to become E10 from 1 July 2011 (later deferred until 1 July 2012 and then repealed on 29 May 2012);
  • introduced a volumetric biodiesel mandate, initially 2% (from 1 January 2010), increasing to 5% when sufficient supply of biodiesel is avalable;
  • broadened the volumetric mandate obligations to apply to major retailers as well as primary wholesalers; and

The legislation provides mechanisms for flexibility regarding implementation dates, which will primarily depend on the biofuels supply situation.


Mandate Increases

On 28 September 2011 the NSW Government announced that the scheduled increase in the ethanol mandate to 6% would go ahead on 1 October 2011.

Media Release

On 22 December 2011, the NSW Government announced that the scheduled increase in the biodiesel mandate to 5% would be suspended until there is sufficient local production to meet the mandate.

Media Release


Removal of requirement for all regular grade ULP to be E10

On 31 January 2012 Premier O'Farrell announced that legislation would be introduced to remove the requirement for all regular ULP to be E10.

Media Release

Legislation was introduced on 15 February 2012, passed by the NSW Parliament, and assented on 29 May 2012.

Media Release


Ethanol Supply and Demand

The NSW Government requested the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal to report on supply and demand for ethanol.

IPART’s report has found there is sufficient production capacity to meet the 6% mandate, however it has identified some factors that may make achieving the mandate challenging.


Exemptions Framework

In certain circumstances exemptions to the biofuels mandates may be appropriate.

This Exemptions Framework, which was revised in January 2013, sets out the process for applications for exemptions under the Biofuels Act 2007.

Application forms in pdf and doc formats are available on the Forms for Volume Sellers page.


E10 Testing

The NSW Government has commenced sampling and testing E10 for ethanol content.

E10 samples have so far been taken from 19 Sydney service stations.

The sites sampled are representative of all the major oil companies and terminals supplying Sydney.

Under the Biofuels Regulation 2007, E10 should contain not less than 9% ethanol while the federal Petrol Fuel Quality Standard imposes a maximum of 10% ethanol.

All of the test results were within the required 9% to 10% ethanol content range. 


Results 30 April 2013:

  • BP, Auburn - 9.55%
  • Coles Express, Five Dock (Shell fuel) - 9.58%
  • Caltex, Granville - 9.14%
  • 7-Eleven, Granville (Mobil fuel) - 9.13%

 Results 16 May 2013:

  • BP, Rosehill - 9.87%
  • Coles Express, Greenacre (Shell fuel) - 9.82%
  • Caltex, Greenacre - 9.82%
  • 7-Eleven, Belmore (Mobil fuel) - 9.74%
  • Enhance, Wiley Park (Park fuel) - 9.95%

 Results 6 June 2013:

  • BP, Sans Souci - 9.65%
  • Coles Express, South Hurstville (Shell fuel) - 9.65%
  • Caltex, Taren Point - 9.97%
  • Caltex, Penshurst - 9.92%
  • Metro, South Hurstville (Mobil fuel) - 9.73%

Results 26 June 2013:

  • BP, West Ryde - 9.65%
  • 7-Eleven, West Ryde (Mobil fuel) - 9.39%
  • Budget Petrol, West Ryde (Mobil fuel) - 9.51%
  • Coles Express, West Ryde (Shell fuel) - 9.58%
  • Caltex, Ermington - 9.46%


Related publications

Biofuels Act 2007

Biofuels Regulation 2007