South Africa to mandate biofuel blending starting in 2015

By Erin Voegele | October 08, 2013

The Republic of South Africa’s Department of Energy recently announced that the country will begin requiring biofuels to be blended with gasoline and diesel starting Oct. 1, 2015. According to information issued by Minister of Energy Dikobe Ben Martins, the mandatory blending regulations will be promulgated under Government Notice R.671, which was published Aug. 23, 2012.

According to a copy of the R.671 published in the official Government Gazette, the mandatory blending regulations will require minimum blend levels of B5 for biodiesel. For gasoline, blends between E2 and E10 will be permitted.

The regulations also require a licensed petroleum manufacture to purchase biofuels from a licensed biofuels manufacturer, who in turn is required to supply a quality assurance certificate to the petroleum manufacture. The licensed petroleum manufacturer is also required to pay the regulated price for the biofuels it purchases.

The media release issued by the Department of Energy also notes that South Africa’s cabinet approved a biofuels industrial strategy in 2007, which envisioned a five-year pilot phase. The pilot phase aimed at achieving a 2 percent biofuels penetration into the national liquid fuels pool. However, the release notes that incentives, including a 50 percent rebate on general fuel levy for biodiesel producers and three-year accelerated depreciation have proven insufficient to attract investments into the biofuel sector. 

The release also specifies that a Biofuels Pricing Framework will be finalized before the end of the year. The October 2015 effective date also takes into consideration the need to develop and install infrastructure to facilitate the manufacture, supply and blending of biofuels. In addition, the Department of Energy noted a Biofuels Implementation Committee has been established to ensure issue pertaining to biofuel blending are resolved before the regulation goes into effect.