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requiring all regular grade unleaded petrol to become E10 from 1 July 2011 (later deferred until 1 July 2012 and then repealed on 29 May 2012);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
established a sustainability standard for biofuels.
The legislation provides mechanisms for flexibility regarding implementation dates, which will primarily depend on the biofuels supply situation.
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.
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.
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.
Legislation was introduced on 15 February 2012, passed by the NSW Parliament, and assented on 29 May 2012.
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.
In certain circumstances exemptions to the biofuels mandates may be appropriate.
Application forms in pdf and doc formats are available on the Forms for Volume Sellers page.
The NSW Government has commenced sampling and testing E10 for ethanol content. E10 samples were taken from four Sydney service stations on 30 April 2013. The sites sampled were representative of all the major oil companies. All of the test results were within the required 9% to 10% ethanol content range. The results of individual tests were:
- Coles Express, Five Dock (Shell fuel) - 9.58%
- BP Auburn - 9.55%
- Caltex Granville - 9.14%
- 7-Eleven Granville (Mobil fuel) - 9.13%