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The first commercially available biofuel for New Zealand motorists went on sale today.

The 10 per cent bioethanol-blended petrol is available from Gull petrol stations.

From April next year, oil companies will have to use biofuels to make up part of their petrol and diesel sales - starting with 0.2 per cent in 2008 and building to 3.4 per cent in 2012.

Prime Minister Helen Clark, who poured the first biofuel at today's Auckland launch, congratulated Gull on leading the pack.

"Gull's new fuel provides motorists with real choice, helps New Zealand to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and takes New Zealand a step further towards achieving sustainability."

She said the biofuel obligation on fuel companies would reduce New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions by more than a million tonnes between 2008 and 2012.

The ethanol for Gull's blend is made from a dairy byproduct by Fonterra subsidiary Anchor Ethanol.