Ultra low-sulfur diesel deadline for refiners is here

| 6/2/2006

The deadline for refiners to begin the switch to ultra low sulfur diesel hit Thursday, June 1.

That means that refiners and importers must ensure that at least 80 percent of the volume of highway diesel they produce is ultra low-sulfur diesel. In California, refiners must be producing 100 percent ULSD.

But don’t go looking for it at the pump just yet. Refiners are not required to start ULSD flowing downstream through pipelines to distributors, marketers, terminals and transporters until Sept. 1.

The deadline for retail roll-out is Oct. 15, but the new fuel could show up at some retail outlets before then as the distribution system is tested and supplies begin to move forward.

According to the EPA, although ULSD will be the dominant fuel produced by the end of this year, refiners, terminals and retailers are not required to carry it until 2010. Therefore, it might not be immediately available at every retail outlet.

By 2010, all highway diesel in the U.S. is scheduled to be ULSD.