Qld floods to lead to ethanol shortages

Motorists warned to expect ethanol shortages in the coming weeks due to the floods devastating Queensland

January 12, 2011

Motorists are being warned to expect shortages of ethanol supplies in the coming weeks due to the floods devastating Queensland.

Joe Dimasi from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says flooding has destroyed crops used in ethanol production and affected key processing sites.

The Queensland floods have been cited as the worst on record, with flash flooding in the southwest killing 10 people and sweeping away homes and vehicles.

Sections of Brisbane’s CBD are expected to go under, exceeding the floods of 1974 which killed 14 people and inundated more than 6500 homes.

"The supply shortages may lead to reduced availability of ethanol blended fuels (such as E10) across Australia and mean that motorists may find that fuel pumps which carry ethanol blended fuel are closed or out of order," Dimasi says.

The ACCC says fuel retailers must notify consumers of any shortages to ensure they are not misled.

"The ACCC encourages retailers to be clear in their signage and labelling at their service stations, including on price boards and at the pump, regarding the availability, or lack of, ethanol blended petrol," Dimasi says.

The ACCC warned in a report released last month that Australia may face ethanol supply shortages in the next few years due to consumer demand, government mandate and investment uncertainty stemming from the global financial crisis.

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