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Westin hotel uses waste cooking oil from kitchens to power limousines

SINGAPORE — Like many hotels, The Westin Singapore has a luxury limousine service to chauffeur guests around, but its cars are powered by biodiesel fuel — a type of fuel produced from vegetable oils or animal fats — that comes from its own kitchens.

SINGAPORE — Like many hotels, The Westin Singapore has a luxury limousine service to chauffeur guests around, but its cars are powered by biodiesel fuel — a type of fuel produced from vegetable oils or animal fats — that comes from its own kitchens.

In collaboration with Wearnes Automotive and local renewable energy company Alpha Biofuels, the hotel is the first in Singapore to have a limousine fleet made up of biodiesel-powered vehicles: Two Jaguar XJ sedans that run on a blend of biodiesel (7 per cent) and diesel (93 per cent). The blend reduces harmful emissions by 95 per cent compared with conventional diesel fuel (ultra-low sulphur diesel).

Speaking at a media conference yesterday, General Manager of The Westin Singapore Lance Ourednik said the idea of recycling and reusing the waste oil made great sense.

“As a company, we try to minimise our carbon footprint in everything we do. We reduce our waste wherever possible and even how this hotel was built is a credit to that direction.”

The hotel generates about 7,800kg of waste cooking oil each year, which produces enough biodiesel to power each limousine over a projected distance of 150,000km each year.

As part of their three-year partnership, Alpha Biofuels provides the hotel with the biodiesel-powered limousines and refining services. Every week, the waste cooking oil is collected and refined at Alpha Biofuels’ plant in Tuas before it is sent to the hotel for use by the limousines.

However, this process is set to change once Alpha Biofuels installs a micro-refinery machine on the fifth floor of the hotel in the coming months.

The installation would allow the recycling process to be completed at the hotel itself, thereby creating a self-sustaining “waste-to-energy” loop.

When asked how much The Westin Singapore spends on the limousine services provided by Alpha Biofuels, the hotel said it preferred not to reveal the confidential terms of their commercial agreement.

Mr Allan Lim, Chief Executive Officer of Alpha Biofuels, said the partnership paves the way for other multinational corporations as well as small and medium enterprises in Singapore to adopt similarly sustainable arrangements for their transport needs.

While the hotel said it does not have any plans to expand the use of biofuel beyond its limousine fleet, it hopes other hotels would follow suit in adopting a sustainable limousine service.

“One hotel is not going to make a difference. These are small steps … to improve our environment for the immediate period (and) the future,” said Mr Ourednik.

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