PRA and Certas Energy voice worries over Westminster plans to introduce ‘green petrol’
THE Petrol Retailers Association has written to Parliamentary under Secretary of State for Transport Andrew Jones over Westminster government plans to introduce new ‘green petrol’. The association reckons such a move could push up costs for UK fuel retailers and force some out of business.
Members of the Department for Transport energy select committee have been told that introducing E10 fuel is the UK’s only viable route to meeting emissions targets, which call for 10% of transport energy to come from renewable sources by 2020. But the PRA says that would increase infrastructure costs and the fuel may not work on almost 1.2 million older cars.
PRA chairman Brian Madderson said: “The proposed new standard E10 fuel is said to have lower energy content than the current E5 fuel and will be less efficient by reducing miles per gallon. To reflect this, the PRA believes that the wholesale price of fuel should be set at a proportionately lower level by reducing duty. This is a step which needs to be calculated and agreed between the government and the industry.
“The majority of filling stations in the UK are unable to stock three grades of petrol due to limited tanks, pipes and dispensers. This would cause immense financial disadvantages to the smaller, often rural filling stations which generally have facilities limited to a single grade of petrol, and thus would lose out on serving all sectors in the market. These vulnerable sites would be forced to close down as a result.
“One of our members, Certas Energy, who have storage and distribution terminals across mainland UK and supply nearly 1,000 independent retailers including the Western and Northern isles of Scotland, feel that the government is moving the industry towards a difficult situation whereby they would have to stock not just three, but four grades of petrol because they cannot supply ethanol grades off shore.”
Certas Energy retail director Ramsay MacDonald said: “We share the PRA’s concerns that a more thorough debate is needed on this important issue. To cover all cars means selling at least two grades of fuel and most of our rural sites don’t have this capacity. The proposals as they stand will have zero benefit for independent retailers or their customers, and many potential downsides.”
Madderson added: “Despite the government’s focus on carbon reduction measures and the potential benefits to the environment with the introduction of E10 fuel, independent fuel retailers do not support the proposals.
“At this stage the PRA believes that a more thorough debate is needed on the commercial issues and cost implications to motorists and has requested an urgent meeting with the minister to discuss this further.”