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Aust contractor set to try biodiesel in NZ fleet


Wednesday 13th July 2011 2 Comments

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Trans-Tasman civil engineering contractor Fulton Hogan says it will try running its vehicles on biodiesel fuel containing recycled cooking oils and canola oil made from oilseed rape grown in the Hurunui district and other dry areas of Canterbury.

The trial could eventually result in Fulton Hogan running most of its New Zealand fleet and mobile generators on biodiesel blended with the normal diesel made from petroleum.

The trials will begin with Christchurch-based diesel vehicles and plant, using a blend of 10 percent biodiesel in a representative mix of light and heavy trucks, utilities and cars for three months before they are switched to a 20 percent blend.

The trials are the first big commitment to use of biodiesel by contractors since Meridian Energy said it would use biodiesel in earthmoving machinery if its Waitaki hydro scheme was approved

In May, Fulton Hogan began working with state-owned coal miner Solid Energy to develop a fuel storage and distribution centre at Nelson to supply upper South Island customers with both a 20 percent biodiesel blend and with 100 percent biodiesel, fuel was delivered to customers direct or through Allied Petroleum and Minitankers.

Solid Energy's biodiesel New Zealand general manager, Andrew Simcock, said the company's business growth meant big restaurants and food processors had a strong local end-use for their waste vegetable oil and an increasing number of the country’s arable farmers had another cash-generating break crop they could plant when paddocks had to be spelled from growing grains.

"Businesses in both these sectors see value in being associated with a locally made renewable fuel which is helping reduce our reliance on imported mineral fuel and making a difference in terms of carbon emissions," he said.

Biodiesel New Zealand Ltd set up a Christchurch refinery capable of producing four million litres of biodiesel annually -- with plans to expand that to 15 million litres -- and runs a seed-handling, storage and oil-extraction facility at Rolleston, as well as a national network to collect used cooking oil.

The biodiesel is used in transport, marine, and industrial engines and heating.

The company has estimated that for every tonne of used cooking oil provided to make biodiesel, the nation's CO2 emissions from fossil fuels are reduced by at least two tonnes, while producing only half the particulate pollution of mineral oils.

It has said biodiesel fuels make engines less noisy, improve lubrication of their fuel‑injection components, and are safer and simpler fuel to store and handle than petroleum fuels.

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Comments from our readers

On 14 July 2011 at 8:20 am Richard said:
What's with the headline? FH is a Kiwi company.
On 14 July 2011 at 9:09 am ShareChat said:
Read 'Aust' as Australasian.
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