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Planetark.com: Netherlands Moves to Make Biofuels use Mandatory

NETHERLANDS: November 9, 2006

AMSTERDAM – The Dutch government will publish new legislation by next week, introducing compulsory blending of biofuels with diesel and petrol from the start of next year, the environment ministry said on Wednesday. 

The rules, first announced late last year, will from Jan. 1 require blending of petrol and diesel at oil refineries with a 2-percent content of biodiesel or ethanol.

The blending requirement will be raised to 5.75 percent in 2010 to meet European Union targets to increase the share of renewable energy in a bid to cut pollution from fossil fuels and reduce dependence on crude oil imports.

“The new legislation will be published in the state gazette this or next week,” an environment ministry spokeswoman said.

The government will also abolish tax breaks for biofuels next year, which it introduced from the start of this year as a temporary measure to boost production and use of “green” fuels.

It lowered the excise duty on petrol and diesel blended with a 2-percent content of biofuels this year, so that prices at the pump are no higher than those of conventional fuels.

Suppliers who offer pure biofuel for converted vehicles have also been exempt from excise duty in 2005 and 2006.

A spokesman for oil major Royal Dutch Shell, the biggest fuel retailer in the Netherlands, said it would be ready to comply with the new rules in January.

EU countries have started gradually abolishing tax breaks they have been offering to promote biofuels and move to obligatory blending.

Last month, Germany — EU’s largest producer of biodiesel — approved compulsory blending of biofuels from 2007.

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