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UK launch of E10 won't be until 2021: government official

London — The UK government will not be rolling out use of E10 gasoline before 2021, a representative of the Department for Transport told the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation Quarterly Stakeholder Workshop in London Thursday.

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The introduction of the fuel - in which ethanol makes up 10% of the gasoline blend - in the UK has been long awaited by European ethanol producers as it would significantly boost demand for the biofuel.

As a result, speculation had been rife and hopes were raised when the DfT launched a public consultation in July 2018, seeking feedback on an E10 introduction.

Current gasoline blends sold in the UK contain no more than 5% of ethanol and an E10 rollout would have to take into consideration fuel compatibility with older vehicles.

Blending up to 10%, however, could help deliver the UK's RFTO target of 9.75% by 2020.

Recent UK ethanol plant closures following challenging market conditions, were announced with producers referencing UK policy ambiguity as an additional factor weighing on their business and calling for an E10 rollout in the UK.

Amid Brexit turmoil, however, E10 is not at the forefront of the UK government's agenda.

DfT representative Tim Simon said companies can take the lead themselves, but any government-led action will take around two years before any policy is pushed through.

An E10 rollout is also currently under discussion in the Netherlands and is subject to a parliamentary decision, but expectations are that it will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2019.

-- Chrysa Glystra, chrysa.glystra@spglobal.com

-- Huw Shortland, huw.shortland@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, newsdesk@spglobal.com