In 2011 the EU introduced directive 2009/30/EC to limit sulphur in gas oil for use in non-rotating, mobile machinery. Fuel must now contain no more than 10ppm of sulphur, down from 1000ppm previously. Whilst being good for the environment, the lack of sulphur reduces the fuel’s stability when stored for long periods, making it susceptible to biological degradation.
Sulphur was used as a lubricating agent, now biofuel has been introduced to replace the sulphur and lubricate the engine components. Biofuel is naturally hydroscopic (absorbs moisture from the air) this leads to water and microbial contamination which in turn de-stabilises fuel ultimately causing the fuel to drop out of specification.
Gas oil accounts for only 10% of diesel consumed in the UK so dyed road diesel is often used (EN590). Due to EU legislation, this contains up to 7% biodiesel which will accelerate the levels of fuel contamination causing yet more issues for long-term storage.
Bio-free Gas Oil*
Unfortunately there is no consistency in the policy of the major fuel producers and importers as methods of compliance continue to vary. WP Group’s primary supplier, ESSO, has taken the decision to produce Gas Oil with no bio content, choosing instead to meet its legislative commitments (known in the industry as RTFO obligations) elsewhere. As a result, WP Group can now supply Gas Oil containing less than 0.1% bio fuel throughout its territory.
Find out more about WP Group's fuel supply
Why is it important that your fuel is in the correct fuel specification?
It is important that your fuel is within the correct specification to ensure your warranty and insurance is covered. Contaminated fuel is considered to be neglect and is the responsibility of the facility manager. Fuel should be sampled every six months to ensure fuel is within specification and fit for purpose.