San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

C.R. Biofuels Debut Set for After Elections

Already a full year behind schedule, Costa Rica’s national biofuels program will not take effect until April of 2010 at the very earliest, the National Oil Refinery (RECOPE) announced Wednesday.

After having been delayed on at least four occasions, RECOPE now must wait for the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) to complete a study that will determine how to tax gas stations that have adequately adapted their systems to sell the gasoline mix.

ARESEP expects to complete the study by December.

But with elections immediately following the end of the year – on Feb. 7, 2010 – RECOPE said it cannot begin the program until new officials settle into their positions.

The government institution said it will reveal on March 31, 2010, which stations will sell biofuels.

The government created the biofuels program by executive decree in 2008, demanding that gasoline be mixed with 8 percent ethanol and that diesel fuel must contain 5 percent biodiesel by October 2008. The government promised gasoline with 20 percent ethanol and diesel with 10 percent biodiesel by the end of 2009.

–Mike McDonald


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