17 December 2001
Shell Supportive Of Plan To Introduce Lower Sulphur Diesel
Shell New Zealand Chairman Ed Johnson today said Shell supported the Government’s announced intention to push ahead with
lower sulphur fuel, with preference given first to the Auckland area.
“Shell has customers all around New Zealand, and our first preference was to take a bit longer and bring uniformly lower
sulphur fuel to all of New Zealand.
“However, we recognise the Government’s desire to reduce the amount of air pollution in New Zealand’s biggest urban
centre as a top priority, and we support this as a move in the right direction.
“We are also happy to support this voluntary reduction ahead of any Government regulation. Shell has always been
prepared to enhance fuel quality, however the reality is that this will take some time, due to changes needed at the
refinery, as well as changes to the vehicle fleet to accommodate better quality fuels.
“Shell has argued for a long time that lowering sulphur in the fuel, while of assistance, is not the only answer to
Auckland’s smog problem. Indeed, introduction of lower sulphur diesel will have a relatively low impact on current
pollution levels. The real culprits are the quality, age and poor maintenance of many of the vehicles being driven and
the amount of time Aucklanders spend in traffic jams and congestion. Solve these issues, and, with better fuel quality
as well, you will significantly improve Auckland’s air quality.
“Therefore, while we support this move by the Government, we would also urge them to look seriously at tightening the
regulations that control the importation of second hand vehicles and establish new standards for vehicle emissions
testing. There can be no doubt that the quality and subsequent maintenance of many of these imported vehicles over
recent years has contributed significantly towards Auckland’s air quality problem. Traffic management systems in
Auckland also need to be looked at,” Mr Johnson said.
Shell continues to support the recommendations in the Government’s Fuel Quality review, which timetable stage 1 changes
to fuel quality to be implemented between 2003-04, and stage 2 changes between 2006-7.