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Pretoria, South Africa — 01 October 2013 – The government of South Africa has set the beginning of October 2015 as the date from which the country’s fuel producers will have to blend their diesel and petrol products with bio-fuels.

The government said in August last year that fuel producers would be required to blend a minimum of 5% bio-diesel in diesel and between 2% and 10% of bio-ethanol in petrol.

Fin24 now quotes Energy Department spokesman Johannes Mokobane as saying that the minister of energy has set 1 October 2015 as the date on which the regulations will come into operation.

South Africa imports 60% of its crude oil needs and became a net importer of finished petroleum products several years ago. Bio-fuels are expected to reduce its reliance on imported fuel.

The bio-fuels industry in South Africa, the continent’s biggest agricultural producer, has been held back by an inadequate regulatory regime, as well as concerns that bio-fuels would hurt food security and impact food prices.

Canola, sunflower and soya are feedstock for bio-diesel, while sugarcane and sugar beet are feedstock for ethanol.

The government said maize, South Africa’s staple food, could not be used in the production of bio-fuels in order to ensure food security and keep a lid on high prices.

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.