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EU's thumbs-up for sulphur-free fuel

The EU has now ratified the proposals for the introduction of sulphur-free fuel throughout the community. The agreement means that petrol and diesel with less than 10ppm of sulphur content will be available throughout the EU from 1 January 2005.

“This agreement is good news both for the environment and for health prospects in Europe. It paves the way for the introduction of clean fuels that will help to reduce air pollution as well as greenhouse gas emissions,”says Environment Commissioner Wallstrom.

The agreement, reached at the last Conciliation Committee meeting, is based on the Commission's proposal of 11 May 2001 on amending Directive 98/70/EC on the quality of petrol and diesel fuels.

A Commission spokesman said that use of sulphur-free fuel would improve the efficiency of catalytic converters.

“It is therefore an important prerequisite for the car industry to make further progress towards clean and highly fuel efficient engines.”

The full introduction of these fuels will be completed by 1 January 2009.

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