Hundreds of Dubai municipal vehicles to fuel up with biodiesel

By Ron Kotrba | February 05, 2015

Neutral Fuels LLC and the municipality of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates have signed an agreement for Neutral Fuels to supply biodiesel to Dubai for use in hundreds of municipal vehicles. Karl Feilder, CEO and chairman of Neutral Fuels, told Biodiesel Magazine that, when fully executed, the supply agreement with Dubai will amount to approximately 2.5 MMgy.

Neutral Fuels has been producing biodiesel in the UAE since 2010, when it became the first biodiesel manufacturer ever to be licensed in Dubai.

Late last year the UAE moved from 500 parts per million (ppm) sulfur content in its petroleum diesel to 10 ppm, “almost overnight,” Feilder said. “While this is a great move to reduce acid rain, it seemed to ignore the fact that most of the trucks and buses on the road are Euro 2 or Euro 3 engines with little tolerance for changes to the lubricity of the diesel.” This is why even a low-level B5 blend in Dubai’s municipal vehicles is an important move—to restore lubricity back to the diesel fuel that now has just trace amounts.

While the Neutral Fuels press announcement released Feb. 4 does not specify the blend Dubai’s municipal vehicles will use, Feilder said he expects it will be B5 for the current vehicles that are within their Euro 3/4 warranty, B5, B20 and B100 for those that are outside their warranty, and B20 and B100 for those yet to be acquired.

“This is groundbreaking,” Feilder said, “for we know that some manufacturers—such as Scania and Mercedes—are happy to give B100 warranties for Euro 6 engines elsewhere in the world, like in the EU and Australia, but they have never yet been asked to do so in the UAE.”

Feilder said Neutral Fuels uses state-of-the-art European equipment to produce EN14214-compliant biodiesel exclusively from used cooking oil. It sells B100, B20 and B5 to a variety of customers.

Dubai will fuel hundreds of its municipal vehicles on biodiesel and blends, but Feilder said “we do not yet have a final count” on exactly how many city vehicles this involves.

“The requirement is for over 2.5 million gallons a year, but that is assuming all vehicles move over to biodiesel and blends today.”

In February 2012, Neutral Fuels, jointly with McDonald’s UAE, won the 2011 Dubai Award for Sustainable Transport in the Environmental Protection category from the Dubai Road and Transport Authority.

In April 2012, Neutral Fuels’ client, Allied Keystone Logistics (UAE), was named Planet Champion in the Logistic Category of McDonald’s Global Best of Green 2012 Awards and won a Best of the Best Award for its UAE biodiesel initiative.

Another customer, the Gulf Indian High School of Dubai, has run its entire school bus fleet on 100 percent biodiesel since January 2013. Since then, the buses have used more than 500,000 liters of B100, representing a carbon saving of 1,380 tons of CO2e, which is the equivalent of 68,900 trees growing for one year, according to Neutral Fuels.

In 2013, Gulf Indian High School won the UAE RTA award for Sustainable Transport due to its usage of B100 biodiesel from Neutral Fuels.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, is driving initiatives to promote fuel efficiency and create a truly sustainable city within the next three decades under his UAE Vision 2021 and Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030. These include the rational use of energy and fuel, encouraging conversion of waste to energy, and sustainable transport infrastructure.


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