High costs impede Norwegian sulphur stripping

A new, NKr1bn (€115m) sulphur-stripping plant at Statoil's Mongstad refinery, which produces over half the petroleum-based fuel used in Norway, is "standing virtually idle" because using it would raise fuel prices too high, state broadcaster NRK reported on Thursday. In response to oil industry demands for tax cuts to compensate for the 10-12 øre per litre cost of stripping, Ingebrigt Sørfonn of the parliamentary finance committee said she could make no promises even for 2005 - the deadline set under EU law for limited introduction of sulphur-free fuels across Europe. See article.

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