Norwegian first for bioethanol

May 30, 2006, 16:50 CEST

The first pump dispensing bioethanol (E85) in Norway opened at Statoil's Storo service station in Oslo today.

The fuel consists of 85% ethanol and 15% petrol. The mixture can only be used in flexi-fuel vehicles that can run on both E85 and petrol. There are currently few of these vehicles on the Norwegian market.

Earlier this year, the government granted tax relief on bioethanol fuel when the ethanol is the main component of the mixture, so-called E85. Car dealers are expected to commence import of new flexi-fuel cars now that the fuel is available on the Norwegian market.

"While it's positive that the authorities make the use of biofuel in Norway more favourable, we believe the best solution is a low ethanol mix in petrol and diesel. Biofuel can then be used in existing vehicles," says Dag Roger Rinde, president of the Statoil Detaljhandel Norge retailing arm.

Mr Rinde says Statoil will evaluate experience from the Storo service station before the group decides on further investment in biofuel.

Statoil has also announced the introduction of Bio95 in Denmark. This is petrol with a 5% bioethanol content and it will be available at 170 of the group's 306 service stations in Denmark.

For quite some time Statoil has sold biofuel in Sweden, Lithuania and Latvia.

Statoil has been agenda-setting when it comes to new fuel types. The group was first to introduce a methanol mix in car fuel in the Norwegian market in 1980, and in 1985 was first to introduce unleaded petrol in Norway. In 2001 the group was first to introduce low-sulphur diesel via dedicated pumps.