Massachusetts heating oil supplier to offer BioPure

By Erin Voegele | March 09, 2009
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Web exclusive posted March 23, 2009, at 8:41 a.m. CST

Townsend Oil & Propane Inc., a Boston-area fuel and energy services company, recently announced plans to begin supplying customers with biodiesel-blended home heating oil that contains between 2 and 5 percent biodiesel. The company expects to begin supplying customers with the trademarked BioPure fuel on April 1.

According to James Townsend, Townsend Oil & Propane's chief executive officer, the company currently serves approximately 12,000 customers in northeastern Massachusetts and southeastern New Hampshire. The company supplies approximately 10 to 12 million gallons of home heating oil to customers annually. While the majority of these customers will be supplied with BioPure after April 1, Townsend said some customers located outside the company's primary supply area will not be supplied with the biodiesel blended fuel at this time.

Townsend Oil & Propane will be working with their traditional suppliers to purchase biodiesel. Townsend said the biodiesel used to blend BioPure will be sourced from BQ-9000 certified producers and will meet ASTM D6751 quality standards.

In July 2008, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation establishing a state biofuels mandate for home heating oil and transportation diesel. The legislation, known as the Clean Energy Biofuels Act, takes effect July 1, 2010. It establishes a timetable for a gradual transition to biofuels beginning with a B2 blend.

Townsend said the biofuel mandate was a factor in his company's decision to offer BioPure to its customers. "Our company has always been on the edge of conservation and better products," he said. "We thought being an early adopter was a good thing. We think [BioPure] is a better fuel. The 2 percent has been fully tested and is good for our customers, it's good to the environment, and it's good for domestic energy security. We think it's the right thing to do." Townsend Oil & Propane may offer higher blends in the future, as more testing is completed and manufactures become more comfortable with the operability of higher blends in existing equipment, Townsend said.
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