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California: BP Begins Selling Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

Articles / Fossil Fuels
Posted by gfoat on Jun 15, 2002 - 07:51 AM

In demonstrating its ongoing commitment to a cleaner environment, BP announced recently that its highly regarded, cleaner burning ultra low sulfur ECD-1 diesel fuel would now be sold at all of its California ARCO and ampm retail outlets, where diesel is sold. In addition, BP unveiled its first solar powered ARCO ampm in Southern California.

BP has begun to invest in new retail sites as the company expands its presence in the region with state-of-the-art fueling and convenience outlets. These new prototype facilities will utilize solar energy and all will sell cleaner burning fuels, like ECD-1.

BP currently operates or franchises more than 500 ARCO and ampm stations in the greater Los Angeles area, some of which are under renovation to modernize older facilities. The company plans to sell ECD-1 at approximately 65 ARCO retail sites in the Los Angeles area.

The inclusion of solar power at all new ampm convenience stores is part of BP's worldwide effort to demonstrate that energy related business needs can be met while minimizing environmental impact. The first Los Angeles area station to be built is in South Gate, at the corner of Firestone Blvd. and Garfield Ave.

"In announcing the inclusion of solar power and initiating retail sales of ECD-1 fuel, BP is clearly defining its local commitment to reducing global emissions while setting new standards for the industry to follow," said J.R. Thomas, senior vice president for the company's West Coast retail operations. "Our retail investment in Southern California will help reshape the future of the local industry, bolstering and helping modernize the regional transportation infrastructure, and is clearly in line with our aim of improving the environmental impacts of our activities."

The new solar stations will feature solar photovoltaic panels atop pump island canopies providing enough energy to supply approximately 20 percent of the site's overall energy needs. That equates to 16 kilowatts of clean electric power, enough to supply the electrical needs of four average homes.

"We are greatly encouraged by BP's leadership in bringing ultra low sulfur diesel and solar technology to a retail business application here in South Gate," said Assembly Majority Floor Leader Marco A. Firebaugh (D-South Gate). "BP's effort to provide clean fuels technology and renewable energy resources to our communities demonstrates how business and the environment can both benefit from clean energy sources. This is an important step in making both cleaner fuels and solar electricity a part of our everyday life".

The BP-developed solar modules are installed on the top of the island canopy. The 108 photovoltaic panels are arrayed to provide electricity to help run the station's fuel dispensers and exterior lighting. BP Solar manufactured the solar panels at its facility in Fredrick, Maryland, one of nine manufacturing plants that BP has around the world.

In addition to being one of the world's largest manufacturers of solar panels, BP has over the past several years equipped more than 380 of its retail sites in 17 countries with solar capability making it also the largest user of the technology.

"Worldwide, BP solar panels on our service stations are producing more than 6 megawatts of electricity per day and reducing harmful carbon dioxide emissions by 6,500 tons per year," said Harry Shimp, CEO of BP Solar. "The cost effectiveness of our solar technology is rapidly dispelling the idea that you can buy cheaper electricity from conventional sources, which better enables us to showcase our technology and complements our efforts to demonstrate environmental responsibility."

Further supporting Shimp's position, BP, in ongoing effort to support the use of environmentally friendly resources, also purchases the entire electrical needs of its California company owned retail outlets from Green Mountain Energy Company, the leading brand of cleaner electricity in the country.

Practical application of solar energy isn't new to BP. Olympic Village housing at the Sidney Summer Games was equipped with more than 500 BP solar power systems. In the Los Angeles area, Village Green, a housing community in Sylmar, is equipped with 75 BP solar power systems, dramatically reducing the power bills for those San Fernando Valley residents.

California does have a solar rebate program available to California homeowners and businesses to promote the use of renewable solar energy.

Retail introduction of BP's new ultra-low sulfur ECD-1 also allows the company to further demonstrate its commitment to the environment through a reduction in air emissions in California by launching retail sales of the fuel well before federal mandates require, in 2006. BP began marketing the cleaner burning fuel in December of 1999 and has been selling it through local and regional resellers and distributors. BP currently supplies about 20 percent of the state's 220,000 barrel per day diesel demand, according to California Energy Commission statistics.

"We are pleased to introduce this cleaner burning diesel well ahead of federal requirements to meet our customers needs and help improve air quality," said Thomas in expressing delight with the introduction of the diesel fuel into BP's retail marketing system.

The fuel is recommended for use in all on-road heavy-duty trucks, automotive and bus applications, especially when coupled with exhaust after treatment. The fuel is also recommended for all off-road, marine, and stationary diesel engines where ultra-low sulfur content for lower emissions is needed.

With the increased exposure ECD-1 will have in the retail marketplace, the fuel, which has been touted as an environmentally superior diesel, is capable of significantly reducing particulate matter, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions from diesel vehicles by more than 90 percent over typical California Air Resources Board (CARB) diesel fuel when used in conjunction with an exhaust after treatment filter. This emission improvement is attributed to both the fuel's ultra low sulfur content of 15 parts per million (ppm), or almost ten times lower than average CARB diesel fuel, and the use of on-board catalytic exhaust filters.

According to CARB, there are approximately 750,000 vehicles operating in California that require diesel fuel, some of which have yet to be treated with catalytic exhaust filters. The company will continue to make and sell CARB diesel for its customers who have not yet chosen to move to cleaner burning ECD-1.

The ultra-low sulfur content of the fuel is important in that it enables the catalytic exhaust particulate trap on diesel engines to function. While particulate matter and hydrocarbons are the main toxic concerns associated with vehicle emissions, with ECD-1 and a trap the emission levels are equal to, or better than, that of compressed natural gas vehicles, according to BP and CARB research.

"We see the introduction of the fuel into the retail marketplace as a very positive step forward in enabling the application of technology to help meet California's required emission reductions," said Dr. Alan Lloyd, CARB chairman. "The toxicity of diesel particulates is a serious concern to CARB, and BP's commitment to producing this ultra-low sulfur fuel and their willingness to sell it throughout the state at its retail outlets will significantly aid the state in reaching the goals identified in our Diesel Risk Reduction Plan."

To date, BP has introduced cleaner burning fuels in more than 110 cities worldwide. Last year alone, these cleaner burning fuels removed the equivalent of 100,000 cars' emission from the road every day. In Los Angeles, the equivalent of more than 7,000 car's emission was eliminated daily.

"BP is committed to providing energy sources that help reduce emissions while continuing to provide the fuels that will ensure future mobility for everyone," Thomas added.

In addition, BP recently announced it has reached its goal early of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases 10 percent (based on 1990 emissions) from its operations. The original goal for this reduction was by the year 2010.

London based BP is one of the world's largest petroleum and petrochemical companies and a leader in solar technology manufacturing. BP is the single, global brand formed by the combination of the former British Petroleum, Amoco, ARCO, and Burmah Castrol.

This article is from Future Energies

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