The new fuel, which is already available at 75% of the company’s 1,600 sites across Britain, emits 90 per cent less sulphur dioxide and nearly a third less particulates and black smoke than standard diesel. It is also widely sold to BP’s commercial customers.

BP Amoco is the first oil company to offer the new fuel, called BP Greener Diesel, on a countrywide basis. Globally, the company said it intends to spend more than $100 million over the next two years modifying refining and associated plant, to make its greener fuels available in more than 40 of the world’s most polluted major cities.

BP Amoco plans over the next six years to produce a range of cleaner fuels. BP Amoco chief executive Sir John Browne spoke recently of his commitment to reduce greenhouse gases and other pollutants both from the company’s own manufacturing operations and from the use of its products, particularly transport fuels.

Browne targeted a 10 per cent reduction from a 1990 baseline in emissions from BP’s own operations by the year 2010. He also said the company would introduce cleaner motoring fuels – including replacing 4-star petrol in the UK with an unleaded alternative by the end of the year and elsewhere within three years.

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