Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Ceisteanna (341)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

420 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Transport the grants or financial incentives available from his Department for adapting diesel cars in order that they can use biofuels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8659/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Transport)

The Department of Transport has recently funded a scheme to convert 50 selected vehicles to run on pure plant oil (PPO), which is being carried out under the aegis of the German-Irish Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The cost to the Department is €227,000 and provides for 75% of the cost of engine modification.

Decisions about successful applications are being made in April with the view to obtaining a diverse mix of transport operators. It is expected that this scheme will be complementary to the Minerals Oil Tax Relief (MOTR) Scheme II, which aims to place 163 million litres of biofuels on the market at a cost of €200 million, and will help develop a sustainable indigenous network of localized PPO supply chains in Ireland.

However, this scheme does not apply to private cars as it is targeted at hauliers or captive fleets maintained by local authorities or public organizations. In Budget 2006, the Minister for Finance provided for a 50% VRT relief on flexi-fuelled vehicles (FFV), which are capable of operating on 85% blend, for 2006 and 2007.

In addition, the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (DCMNR) announced obligatory 5% fuel blending by 2009, which will help to achieve the indicative target of 5.75% set out in the Biofuels Directive 2003/30/EC.