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Contaminated UK fuel traced to Harvest Energy tanks
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 03 - 03 - 2007


The silicon contamination of
petrol which thousands of British motorists say damaged their
vehicles has been traced to storage tanks at a Thames Estuary
terminal, fuel supplier Harvest Energy said on Saturday, according to Reuters.
Motorists across the country have said their vehicles broke
down or suffered serious problems after leaving filling station
forecourts.
"Testing has identified unusually high levels of silicon in
four petrol storage tanks," said Harvest Energy after conducting
tests at an oil terminal owned by Vopak at West Thurrock, Essex,
which it shares with another supplier, Greenergy.
Harvest Energy said the contaminated fuel had not been
spotted because testing of petrol at the terminal had not
included a silicon check, though that test will now be
introduced.
"Harvest Energy has now isolated the higher silicon fuel and
can guarantee that no further supplies of high silicon unleaded
petrol will be distributed from the West Thurrock terminal," the
company said in a statement.
Vopak said in a statement late on Friday it had reviewed
storage and handling operations at the terminal.
"Vopak can now conclude that the product as received from
one of our customers contains a relatively high level of
silicon," it said.
"This product has been located in four tanks, which are
dedicated to one of our clients. These tanks have been
isolated."
It added: "In line with normal industry practice, Vopak as
a storage company is not responsible for the quality of products
delivered into our facilities."
Trading standards officials discovered the silicon traces
during tests on petrol after they began an inquiry following
complaints from motorists.
Several motorists have blamed petrol they bought from
supermarkets Tesco, Morrisons and Wal-Mart's Asda.
Consumer Direct, a government-funded advice service, said it
had been contacted by more than 2,500 people concerned about
possible fuel contamination.
"We're sympathetic to the plight of motorists who have been
affected by this problem," said Harvest Energy managing director
Franco Bussandri.
"We're working as closely as we can with our customers the
retailers to address such concerns. We'd ask motorists who feel
they may have been affected to contact their fuel retailer for
advice."


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