Shell Australia will begin selling biodiesel (B20) in a world-first release of the product in New South Wales, after launching its new biodiesel facility at Parramatta in western Sydney.

The company says the new plant is a response to customer demand to reduce diesel excise liabilities while reducing the environmental impacts of fossil fuel use.

Shell vice-president downstream, Andrew Smith, says the launch of B20 was responding to business needs to reduce the environmental impact of transport fuels and potential liability under the Federal Government’s carbon pricing scheme.

He says that during a recent engagement with commercial customers more than 50% said they would consider using B20 in their fleets for either taxation or environmental reasons. “Shell is committed to understanding customer needs, and when we asked them if they would consider using B20 if it was available while 28% said they would because of the tax benefit.”

Biodiesel has a zero rating under the carbon pricing scheme, so using a B20 fuel in trucks can help affected customers significantly improve their bottom line. The positive environmental benefits have also prompted customers to consider the new fuel.

Shell says it will work to build customer acceptance with an education and partnership campaign. “We were pleased when 55% or our customers who attended recent workshops held across the country said they would consider using a B20 blend in their operations,” Andrew Smith says. “That number grew to 69% after they attended a session with Shell technology experts and engine specialists from major companies like Kenworth and Cummins.”

Shell Diesel Bio20 is made up of Shell diesel with a bio component produced from vegetable oils or animal fats that meet Shell’s global sustainability standards.

Shell plans to expand its B20 availability further as it continues to work with its customers to offer fuels and lubricants solutions that help them reduce their CO2 footprint. As one of the world’s largest distributors of biofuels, Shell believes it offers a practical commercial solution to assist in reducing carbon emissions from the road transport sector.

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