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Guangxi to fill cars with ethanol fuel by Dec.
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Southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region plans to promote the use of ethanol fuel for cars to replace gasoline by the end of the year in a bid to ease the region's strained fuel supply and reduce car exhaust pollution.

The sales of ethanol fuel will start on December 15 and it is hoped the sales would be expanded to the whole region exclusively by December 28, by which time the sales of gasoline will be banned, the regional government announced at a press conference on Tuesday.

The ban does not extend to fuel oil for military use and state reserves, the Southland Morning Post, a local newspaper reports. Ethanol fuel in China is produced by blending 10 percent ethanol into gasoline.

Pan Wenfeng, Vice Director of the regional development and reform commission, said the regional government plans to have 18 ethanol distribution centers put into operation by early December.

A 200,000-ton cassava ethanol plant run by a subsidiary of China National Cereals, Oils & Foodstuffs Corporation will be put into production on December 1st in the regional capital Nanning.

Guangxi will use cassava, also known as tapioca, as raw materials in producing ethanol. Currently, China's other non-grain based ethanol centers mainly use sorghum and sweet potato to make the bio-fuel.

In a related development, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture said on Tuesday that China would strictly limit the conversion of oil crops into bio-diesel and strictly control the export of oil crops and vegetable edible oil in order to ensure domestic supply.
Meanwhile, the official Xinhua News Agency reports China's top economic planner has raised the threshold for the establishment of corn-based bio-fuel production companies in an attempt to ensure food grain supply.

The National Development and Reform Commission recently released guiding principles that said net assets of corn processors should at least double the capital of their projects and total assets should be at least 2.5 times the project investments.

( September 26, 2007)

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