Biofuels only major way to decarbonise road fuel - BP

LONDON Thu Mar 3, 2011 1:47am IST

The BP brand logo is seen at a Washington DC service station October 27, 2009. REUTERS/Jason Reed/Files

The BP brand logo is seen at a Washington DC service station October 27, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

LONDON (Reuters) - Biofuels represent the only way to significantly reduce carbon emissions in road transport fuel and are likely to account for at least 12 percent of supply by 2030, an official with oil giant BP (BP.L) said on Wednesday.

"There is no other alternative that I can really subscribe to in terms of decarbonising road transport," Olivier Mace, head of strategy, regulatory affairs and communications at BP unit BP Biofuels, told a conference organised by Agra Europe.

Mace said that electricity may play a role "one day" and biogas may also be in the mix, but "to get into 10 percent, 20 percent of (global) consumption we believe there is only one game in town today and that is biofuels."

BP has forecast that about 12 percent of road transport fuel will come from biofuels by 2030, but Mace said that was a "conservative view."

"Personally I think it could be even higher than that," he said, noting the forecast did not include much production in Asia. He said China and India are likely to be among the countries with the strongest demand growth for road transport fuel as a whole over the next 20 years.

Mace acknowledged, however, that biofuels had become "embattled in a big controversy, especially here in Europe."

BIOFUEL CRITICS

Critics have suggested that biofuels, which are currently produced mainly from crops such as grains, sugar and vegetable oils, can increase carbon emissions, particularly if rainforests are chopped down to facilitate production.

Mace said the debate needed to be centred on distinguishing between good and bad biofuels, not whether or not there should be biofuels at all.

"I am a firm believer of biofuels done well and a stern condemner of biofuels done badly," he said.

A BP joint venture, Vivergo, is currently building a bioethanol plant in Hull in eastern England which Mace said would be the biggest in Britain.

Vivergo is a joint venture of BP, British Sugar (ABF.L) and DuPont (DD.N).

Mace told Reuters the plant, which will use more than 1 million tonnes of wheat to produce bioethanol and a high protein animal feed, would be on line later this year.

He said the plant is expected to produce carbon savings in excess of 60 percent compared to fossil fuel alternatives.

"Biofuels done well is a very important part of the energy mix going forward. It is going to be an evolving story with an increasing role of advanced technology," he said.

(Reporting by Nigel Hunt; editing by Jim Marshall)

FILED UNDER:

"India's Daughter"

Reuters Showcase

Microfinance

Microfinance

Funding the unfunded: India helps small business borrow to grow  Full Article 

Insurance Sector

Insurance Sector

UK healthcare firm Bupa sees strong growth in India  Full Article 

Sensex Rises

Sensex Rises

Sensex edges up; consumer and healthcare stocks rise  Full Article 

Market Eye

Market Eye

FTSE adds nine Indian firms as large-caps in Asia-Pacific ex-Japan index   Full Article 

Indian Ocean Diplomacy

Indian Ocean Diplomacy

PM Modi to ramp up help for Indian Ocean nations to counter China influence  Full Article 

ECB Bond-Buying

ECB Bond-Buying

ECB raises growth forecasts, to start printing money next week  Full Article 

China Economy

China Economy

China signals "new normal" with lower annual growth target  Full Article 

Pharma Sector

Pharma Sector

Panel recommends waiving late-stage trials for some drugs  Full Article 

E-commerce

E-commerce

China backs e-commerce expansion in win for Alibaba, JD.com  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage