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Scania Australia enters agreement with biofuel providers

In Australia, Scania Australia Pty Ltd has recently signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with three providers in the national biofuels industry; Wilmar BioEthanol (Australia) Pty Ltd, Eco Tech Biodiesel Pty Ltd and NGV Group Pty Ltd, in a bid to "lubricate the path" towards adoption of more sustainable and cleaner transport solutions for its customers.

A Scania biomethane fuelled bus on show at the UK AD & Biogas 2015.

A Scania biomethane fuelled bus on show at the UK AD & Biogas 2015.

According to Bioenergy Australia, an industry association representing the bioenergy sector of which Scania Australia is a member, the company is taking “bold strides” towards making the adoption of alternative fuels an easier choice for the country’s transport operators having recently MOU’s with Bioenergy Australia members Wilmar BioEthanol Australia and Eco Tech Biodiesel, as well as with gas fuel specialist NGV Group.

The transport sector spans four modes—road, rail, aviation and shipping and accounts for 16 percent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Since 2005 transport sector emissions have increased by 22 percent and its emissions are increasing at a faster rate than any other sectors. Biofuels are a viable low-carbon  technology for heavy transport, freight, aviation, defence and shipping applications. For example, an overall reduction in CO2 emissions of 5 percent can be expected if biofuel replaces 6 percent of jet fuel by 2020, said Shahana McKenzie, CEO of Bioenergy Australia.

According to Anthony King, Sustainable Solutions Manager at Scania Australia, a subsidiary of the Sweden-headed engine, bus, and truck manufacturer, Scania is now moving to “facilitate the adoption of alternative-fueled vehicles in Australia.”

Transport contributes a quarter of total energy-related CO2 emissions and it is these emissions that are contributing to climate change. Operators do not have to wait to adapt their businesses to a sustainable transport system – the solutions are already here. Scania can provide a broad range of platforms and services to support our customers today and tomorrow. For a fuel to be considered as sustainable it needs to fulfil three criteria; reduce CO2 from wheel-to-well; be available in sufficient volumes to be able to make a difference; and it must provide a competitive business case against regular diesel to make it commercially viable, Anthony King said.

Shahana McKenzie is delighted that Bioenergy Australia members are working together to deliver biofuels solutions locally.

There is so much benefit to Australia by increasing uptake of biofuels. Increasing the use of biofuels by a small 10 percent in petrol and diesel in Australia can reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by 8.9 million tonnes CO2 eq per year with huge subsequent health benefits. A study by QUT identified that the growth of biorefinery industries in Queensland alone could result in an increase to the Gross State Product of more than AU$1.8 billion per year, and the creation of around 6 640  jobs, most of which would be in regional communities, explained McKenzie.

Paul Hetherington, CEO of Eco Tech Biodiesel that operates a 30 million litre per annum biodiesel plant in Brisbane, Queensland, says he is delighted to see the international truck and bus giant Scania “forging a path” for biodiesel and cleaner fuels in Australia.

We hope that their initiative and commitment will be followed by the other major players in Australia, said Hetherington.

King revealed that Scania Australia is awaiting the arrival of its first hybrid buses, which will be in the country within 6-7 months. In use in Madrid, these buses are showing a 25 percent reduction in fuel use, reducing emissions by the same amount.

This is all part of our drive towards creating a sustainable transport future, Anthony King said.

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