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JIS News

Senior Manager for Environmental Management in the Integrated, Planning and Environment Division, at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Paulette Kolbusch, has asserted that the introduction of the E10 fuel in Jamaica, is a step in the right direction for the country.
“Introducing E10 into the Jamaican market for petroleum products is a step in the right direction. The ethanol replaces an additive, Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE), which studies done in the USA, which we have access to, have indicated can have negative health effects when it gets into the ground water. These effects are demonstrated in cancer for instance and so introducing E10 is positive on the health aspect,” she said in an interview with JIS News.
“This is a very good example of the substitution of a material that has been proven to be unsafe for our environment and our health, with one that is more environmentally safe,” she further affirmed, while extolling the economic and environmental benefits of the E10 fuel.
“It can be produced locally and will create backward linkages for our economy. It also contains Oxygen and so what you will find is that the petroleum hydrocarbons in the gasolene can burn more completely so you will have fewer residues in the different aspects of the engine and hence your motor vehicle emissions should be less. This will improve our green house gas inventory,”Miss Kolbusch informed.
E10 or 10 per cent ethanol in 90 per cent 87 octane, will be introduced on a phased basis starting November 1, with service stations in Kingston, and other eastern parishes, as well as parishes in central Jamaica.
The roll out will continue over the first quarter of 2009, in western parishes, served by the Petrojam Montego Bay Terminal currently under construction, and by May 2009, all motorists across the island will be receiving E10 in both 87 and 90 octane fuel.
Despite the benefits of the E10 fuel, the Senior Manager is imploring all the stakeholders in the supply chain to incorporate environmentally sound stewardship practices in their operations.
“Ethanol is a chemical and if it gets into the environment it could lead to contamination and there are different routes of it getting into the environment. So we need to have and prudently observe environmentally sound stewardship practices at the level of the sugar cane industry, the refinery that produces the blend, the contractors and drivers that transport the material, the petrol stations that store and dispense the fuel and also the end users,” she appealed.
To ensure that the stakeholders have the knowledge to mitigate against contamination throughout all stages of the E10 fuel, the Ministry of Energy along with the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and Petrojam, have hosted seminars and special meetings as well as disseminated information to bring the industry up to speed as to the essential processes and procedures that must be followed.
“I know that the PCJ and the Ministry of Energy have been sending out information and making visits to the various facilities to ensure that they are ready and they know what is required. So it is not a lack of knowledge at this time by the players in the supply chain,” Ms. Kolbusch pointed out.
Ethanol has been found to be the best fuel from renewable sources for the transportation sector, the most effective at increasing octane levels, and the cleanest fuel for the environment.
Made from sugar cane, ethanol is produced locally and thereby enhances Jamaica’s thrust towards energy diversification, and the opportunity to reduce its foreign exchange expenditure on fuel imports.