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Westin Singapore uses old cooking oil to power up limousines

Newly-opened hotel The Westin Singapore is using old cooking oil to power up its limousine service under a pilot programme.

SINGAPORE: Newly-opened hotel The Westin Singapore is using old cooking oil to power up its limousine service under a pilot programme.

It is the first hotel in Singapore to convert waste cooking oil from its kitchens into the biodiesel used to power its Jaguar limousines.

The pilot programme, known as The Green Luxury project, is a partnership with local renewable energy enterprise Alpha Biofuels, which provides the technology, and Wearnes Automotive.

“When we were approached by the Alpha Biofuels people to look at this proposition, it was very exciting because we never thought of an opportunity like this before,” said Lance J Ourednik, the hotel’s general manager.

The waste cooking oil will initially be refined at Alpha Biofuels' plant in Tuas, but the installation of a micro-refinery on the fifth floor of The Westin Singapore in the coming months will allow the entire process to be completed without leaving the building.

Allan Lim, CEO of Alpha Biofuels, said: “I think Singapore is resource-constrained. We have very little resources to play with.

“If we do a calculation, I think we are able to collect 1,000 tonnes of used cooking oil a month from the various F&B outlets, hotels, schools, army camps, and 1,000 tonnes of that become biodiesel, which could easily power up 500 school buses for a month.”

The Westin Singapore expects to generate about 8,000 tonnes of waste cooking oil a year, making enough biodiesel to keep two Jaguar limousines running 150,000 kilometres a year.

The fuel is a mix of 7 per cent biodiesel and 93 per cent diesel.

Using the waste oil biodiesel does not make the Jaguar any more fuel-efficient, but it does reduce carbon gas emissions by 65 per cent.

Projects like converting used oil cooking oil to biodiesel, and better technology, are helping to drive down the cost of biofuels, which now cost about 15 per cent less then what one would get at the pump.

But the hotel's general manager, Mr Ourednik, said it is not about dollars and cents.

“(If) you just think about all the of the food and beverage establishments, if everyone was to participate in a responsible management of their cooking oils and their waste, what a great impact it would have on the environment," he added. 

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