The government of New Zealand has announced plans to introduce a sustainable biofuels mandate based on greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, Ethanol Producer magazine wrote.

Starting at a 1.2% GHG reduction in 2023, the mandate could increase up to 9% in 2035, according to the 15 December report.

From 1 April 2023, fuel suppliers would be required to reduce the total GHG emissions of transport fuels by a set percentage each year, by using biofuels as part of their fuel supply, the report said, with the mandate applying to all liquid fossil fuel for transportation produced in New Zealand or imported into the country.

Under the programme, fuel suppliers would have the flexibility to deploy any type of biofuels in any location in the country as long as the biofuels met required sustainability criteria, Ethanol Producer wrote.

As part of the programme, fuel suppliers would be required to prepare annual reports to demonstrate compliance with the mandate with some flexibility available to them, including the ability to trade emissions reductions with each other.

The mandate did not currently include aviation fuels, the report said.

“We’re committing to develop a separate mandate for aviation fuel during 2022 given the unique challenges the sector faces,” transport minister Michael Wood said.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment was working with Air New Zealand on a feasibility study on the potential for domestic production of sustainable aviation fuel, he added.