LEAD Action News
LEAD Action News vol 8 no 1, 2000, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News ( ISSN 1440-0561)
The Journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.

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BP Amoco Cleaner Fuels Report Card

By Greg Bourne, Regional Director/President, BP Amoco Australia, February 2000

JAN 1999-JAN 2000 - "What we promised, What we delivered, What we will do"

"In 1997, 129 metropolitan areas exceeded the standard level of at least one pollutant…The problems are not limited to the USA. In Paris there were 11 days last year when motorists faced restrictions on bringing their cars into the city because of poor air quality….. This is a challenge we can’t ignore….

We can delay and resist and wait for the standards or taxes to be imposed. Or we can accept the challenge and start to provide the answer in a creative progressive way."…

Sir John Browne, CEO, BP Amoco plc, 25 January 1999

What We Promised…………….

During the 1990s, Australia’s petrol and diesel specifications did not keep pace with those in key OECD countries. By 1999, we were up to 5 years behind. Our diesel specifications allowed for 5000 parts per million sulphur. Petrol specifications allowed up to 5% benzene. Leaded petrol consumption remained substantial. The only substantial changes occurred in 1986 (introduction of unleaded) and 1992 (reduction of lead content in leaded). At the start of 1999, no major fuel specification changes were foreshadowed at all, despite the demands and responses for change in other advanced nations. All of us must take some blame for this inactivity.

Globally, BP Amoco committed to a proactive leadership strategy on Clean Fuels to do what we can, when we can, and where we can.

Group CEO Sir John Browne promised on 25 January 1999 in a speech to the Detroit Economic Club that the BP Amoco group would be:-

  • a lead free company around the world by 2002

  • offering clean fuels (unleaded, low benzene, low sulphur gasoline, and low sulphur diesel) in more than 40 cities worldwide by 2001

  • be an industry leader on clean fuels.

Why have we done this

Sir John [Browne] said that the air quality problem is a challenge we can’t ignore. We have accepted the challenge to help solve the air quality problems especially in cities.

What We’ve Delivered in 1999 from Australia………

We are delivering on these promises. Perth and Brisbane are in our 40 Cities Program. They are two cities where we can unilaterally introduce clean fuels due to our refineries in both cities.

As at January 2000 we have delivered the following:-

  • Low Sulphur Diesel (500 parts per million sulphur) in Western Australia

  • Lead Replacement Petrol in Western Australia and Northern Territory, and unleaded petrol in Papua New Guinea

  • Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (50 parts per million sulphur) Project (cost $200m) to supply Queensland and northern NSW well advanced

  • Established close liaison with Governments, Environment Protection Authorities, Green groups, vehicle manufacturers and motoring organisations

  • We have strongly supported the Government’s Clean Fuels Agenda, which by end 1999 was firmly embedded as a key Government initiative.

What this means………

These changes mean annual reductions in these toxic compounds in the fuel of:-

  • 67 tonnes of lead (equivalent to the lead content of almost 9000 car batteries)

  • 1,800 tonnes of sulphur (enough to fill 27 B-double semi trailers)

What We Commit to in 2000/01 in Australia…..

  • We will commence production of Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel in Brisbane to supply Queensland and other parts of eastern Australia in 3rd Quarter 2000

  • We will invest at Kwinana (Perth) refinery to produce Low Sulphur Diesel to supply all of WA, and to produce some Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel for WA, as from 2001

  • We will lower the benzene level from 2% to 1% in all grades of petrol at Kwinana as from 2001 for WA and other customers

  • We will commence supplying Lead Replacement Petrol to Queensland, and northern NSW from Bulwer (Brisbane) refinery in mid 2000

  • We will supply Lead Replacement Petrol to South Australia early in 2000

  • We will supply it elsewhere in Australia where the supply logistics allow this.

We will do what we can, where we can, and as soon as we can.

What This Means…..

These changes in 1999 and 2000 mean annual reductions in these compounds in fuel of:-

  • 115 tonnes of lead (equivalent to lead content in almost 15,000 car batteries)

  • 2,700 tonnes of sulphur (enough to fill 41 B-double semi-trailers)

They also mean supplying cleaner fuels up to 5 years before the Government’s mandatory requirements to do so, to the benefit of the environment and the consumer. Australia will have gone from 5 years behind the advanced economy norm to be with or ahead of the pack.

What’s Next…………………

This is a journey which we will travel with the community, Governments, car manufacturers, green groups, and motoring organisations.

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