E10 or 10 per cent ethanol in 90 per cent 87 octane, will be introduced on a phased basis starting November 1, with service stations in Kingston, and other eastern parishes, as well as parishes in central Jamaica. The roll out will continue over the first quarter of 2009, in western parishes, served by the Petrojam Montego Bay Terminal currently under construction, and by May 2009, all motorists across the island will be receiving E10 in both 87 and 90 octane fuel. Ethanol is made from sugar cane and the benefits of using E10 are many. It reduces Jamaica bill for expensive imported oil, adds to Jamaica’s energy diversification, supports Jamaica local sugar cane industry among other environmental benefits.
Senior Manager for Environmental Management in the Integrated, Planning and Environment Division, at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Paulette Kolbusch has stated that the ethanol replaces an additive, Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE), which studies done in the USA have indicated can have negative health effects when it gets into the ground water.
E10 is a fuel mixture of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline that can be used in the internal combustion engines of most modern automobiles and light-duty vehicles without need for any modification on the engine or fuel system. E10 has been nicknamed “gasohol” in the United States. E10 blends are typically rated as 2 to 3 octane higher than regular gasoline and are approved for use in most new automobiles. Varying levels of gasoline and ethanol mixtures are used worldwide and Jamaica joins countries like Thailand, Canada, Brazil, India and the United States of America to offer gasoline mixed with ethanol.