Sulphur-free fuel for Norway

November 10, 2004, 15:40 CET

Sulphur-free automotive fuels are now being offered on the Norwegian market by Statoil, helping to spare the environment from polluting emissions.

The group’s Mongstad refinery near Bergen is producing both petrol and diesel oil with less than 0.001 per cent sulphur – defined by international standards as free of the chemical.

This follows the investment of more than NOK 1 billion at the plant to permit the production of these new qualities.

“Sulphur-free fuels are needed to gain the full effect of new and efficient anti-pollution technologies in modern vehicles,” explains sales vice president Hans-Olav Høidahl at Statoil Norge.

“This helps to cut emissions of nitrogen oxides, volatile hydrocarbons and particles, as well as achieving a direct reduction of the sulphur dioxide content in exhaust fumes.”

Statoil has begun delivering sulphur-free diesel oil and petrol to its depots and sales outlets. Existing qualities will be phased out gradually as stocks run down.

All the group’s service stations are due to be receiving the sulphur-free fuels by the New Year.

The European Union has decreed that these products must be available to the market from 2005 and must be the only form on sale from 2009.

This new standard will reduce annual sulphur emissions from automotive fuels in Norway by more than 120 tonnes, corresponding to 240 tonnes of sulphur dioxide.

Forecourt prices for sulphur-free fuels in Norway will be about the same as for existing qualities, although they cost more internationally.

The Norwegian government’s budget for 2005, which has still to be approved, proposes to cut the duty on the new products to help keep prices to consumers at roughly the present level.