St1 distributes new ethanol fuel

Finnish energy company St1 has begun selling its new domestic biofuel product Refuel containing 80-85% of bioethanol produced from Finnish bio-waste using the company’s Etanolix concept.

The bioethanol in the fuel blend is produced from local industrial waste and side-streams with highly energy efficient concept and it can lead up to 80% less fossil carbon dioxide emissions from transport.

The biofuel meets the technical requirements of the E85 fuel quality standard.

Using the new Refuel requires flex-fuel cars which are simultaneously introduced by several car makers in Finland.

The new product has improved cold start properties to cope with cold Finnish winters.

St1 has also launched an extensive testing programme with the VTT Finnish Technical Research Centre of Finland, aimed at optimising the consistency of the new high blend ethanol to ensure best possible usability in Finnish conditions.

The distribution stage of the two-year development project began on 1 April 2009 when Refuel will hit the fuel pumps at three of St1’s petrol stations in greater Helsinki.

The code used to denote the new product on the price boards and fuel pumps will be RE85. The price of RE85 in Finland will be at least €30 euro cents lower than that of 95E petrol. This saves motorists from spending extra on the lower energy content of the new high blend ethanol fuel.

The objective set out in the European Biofuels Directive is for biological components to account for 5.75% of the energy content of transport fuels next year, including fuels sold in Finland.

The current Finnish law on the promotion of the use of biofuels in transport stipulates a target of 4% to be reached this year.

The amount of biocomponents is set to increase rapidly in the future – the targets set for the year 2020 in the European climate action and renewable energy package already suggest a significantly stricter approach to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the use of renewable energy sources and their status in transport.

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