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Welcome for fuel tax cut

October 7, 2004, 17:10 CEST

A cut in Norwegian duty on sulphur-free automotive fuel proposed in the central government budget presented on 6 October has been greeted positively by Statoil.

“This is very welcome, both for the environment and for us as a company,” says Bjørn Kåre Viken, who heads Statoil’s Mongstad refinery north of Bergen.

A tax incentive will encourage a simpler and swifter shift to sulphur-free petrol and diesel oil in Norway, he notes.

“We expect these products to have taken over in the Norwegian market by early 2005 if this proposal is approved.”

The government proposes to increase fuel tax by NOK 0.02-0.03 per litre on existing grades of petrol and diesel oil, while reducing it by NOK 0.02 for sulphur-free types.

A European Union directive requires automotive fuels containing virtually no sulphur to be phased in from next year, with all petrol and diesel oil meeting this criterion by 2009.

More than NOK 1 billion has been invested at the Mongstad facility in order to meet this requirement.

“We’re well prepared to meet the EU standard,” affirms Mr Viken.