Qtown biodiesel drives towards a bright future

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A Queenstown initiative that uses cooking oil and mineral diesel to fuel cars has celebrated its first year of success.

New Zealand’s first community biodiesel pilot programme was launched in the resort in March last year and 12 months on, 66 vehicles owned by 20 local tourism operators now use up to 15,000 litres of the Biogold NZ20 fuel each month.

It’s estimated that collectively, the vehicles have saved up to 38 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

Run by the Otago Polytechnic Centre for Sustainable Practice, the ground-breaking programme has received three national awards recognising its success.

Biodiesel consortium project leader and director of the Centre for Sustainable Practice Steve Henry says he’s pleased with how the first year’s gone and plans to continue to increase sustainable practice in the region and further afield.

Kiwi Discovery’s Tim Barke says he’s keen to help grow the use of biodiesel.

“The pilot has been very successful for us and we’re delighted to report absolutely no issues in running vehicles on biodiesel,” he says.

“We are most certainly prepared to increase our use of the fuel as much as possible. I’d like to see biodiesel in a truck-stop so it’s easy for all big commercial vehicles to access.”

Barke adds: “The ultimate goal for me is to get biodiesel available to the general public through mainstream fuelling facilities.”