Growers warned to clean out storage tanks before EU fuel legislation change

Growers who use diesel for heating fuel are being advised by the Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) to clean out their oil storage tanks and check their seals and pipes before the new year.

This is because new European legislation that comes into force from January will mean that diesel and gas oil intended for non-road mobile machinery such as tractors will be allowed to contain up to seven per cent fatty acid methyl ester or biodiesel.

OFTEC predicted that only this one type of gas oil will be widely available from fuel distributors.Growers were advised to prepare because biofuel is a powerful solvent and can attack existing seals.

Filters and pumps should also be checked to make sure that they do not become clogged by residual deposits being flushed through the system.

Jeremy Hawksley from OFTEC said: "In the UK we use predominantly two different types of heating oil. Kerosene is common and used by the majority of domestic oil heating customers. Gas oil - or diesel - is more likely to be used for commercial or industrial heating applications and favoured by farmers. Anyone ordering gas oil for heating needs to be aware of the new specification."

More information was outlined in a note issued by OFTEC, the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers and the Industrial & Commercial Energy Association.


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