The Challenge

According to the amendment of the “Fuels Directive” (2009/30/EC) the maximum permissible sulphur content of gas oils shall be 10 mg/kg as from 1 January 2011. However, in order to accommodate minor contamination in the supply chain, Member States may, from 1 January 2011, permit gas oil intended for use by non-road mobile machinery and agricultural and forestry tractors to contain up to 20 mg/kg of sulphur at the point of final distribution to end users. Fuel sulphur levels above 20mg/kg are not compatible with the emissions control technologies being developed for use on stage IIIB and IV engines. Moreover, the continued use of 1000 mg/kg sulphur fuel could permanently damage the emissions after-treatment systems and engines and will degrade the emissions performance The problem is that the 1st January 2011 is the same date as the introduction of stage IIIB for >130 kW engines in non-road machines and agricultural tractors. Furthermore will it be allowed until the end of 2011 to continue using 1000 mg/kg sulphur for agricultural and forestry tractors. The coincidence of these dates does not provide any time for high sulphur fuel to be purged from end-users storage tanks prior to sulphur sensitive technologies entering use.

The CEMA position

CEMA welcomes the clarification of the European Commission that 1000 mg/kg sulphur fuel can still be used for one year longer for old tractors only. Industry applauds those member states who have already mandated fuel for non-road machines and agricultural tractors to contain no more than 10 mg/kg sulphur and challenges all other member states to follow this example and to legislate in their territories for the mandatory supply of this fuel no later than 1st January 2010, rather than 2011, noting that 98/70/EC Article 4(5) already provides discretion to take this action.

Through massive R&D and investment, our industry is now ready for entering Europe’s blue skies. However our new and complex environmental systems need low-sulphur fuels for functioning properly. We hope that Member States and oil-suppliers do their outmost to make for making these fuels available so that EU citizens will enjoy a cleaner environment.” 

CEMA president Dr. Gilles Dryancour (John Deere)


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