The Biodiesel World News

Fresh Updates and News on Bio Diesel and Renewable Fuel Products and Industry

Europe- Worries over sustainability issues

The EU bio-diesel industry is currently in ‘political no man's land’ while it waits for a European biofuel sustainability and greenhouse gas certification scheme expected from the Commission later this year, according to the head of the European Biodiesel Board, Platts reports.

Meanwhile the head of the ILUC team at the European Commission for transport and energy said that the team is trying to understand the underlying drivers of land use change, using different models, but has no answers yet.

An official at the Commission’s environment directorate said the EU is in a dialogue with California about its sustainability standards and is considering the ILUC models used there.

Separately, France has mandated a B7 biodiesel blend with 7% FAME (fatty-acid methyl ester), but the mix has already caused serious problems with some motorists by clogging up fuel filters during the winter months, according to French car maker Renault. Renault’s fuels affairs manager said that a lack of EU conformity and sufficient specifications to control cold flow properties and oxidization of the new bio-fuel blends have led to the recent problems.

According to oil refiner Total, different national bio-fuel mandates across the EU are complicating the production, blending, distribution and marketing of bio-fuels across borders.

Calling investment and operations planning ‘a real nightmare,’ Total's marketing head of strategy and regulations said there has been an ‘incredible impact’ of bio-fuels on blending in the logistic system, including higher volumes in pipes, increased difficulty of processing, the need for better cleaning of rail cars and separate storage for exports.

Swiss bio-diesel maker Biopetrol Industries posted sales of 296.0 million euros in 2008, up 35.7% from 218.1 million the previous year despite sales of bio-diesel grinding to a halt in Germany and the economic recession, Ad-hoc News reports. Of its sales, 51.1% were made to Germany and 48.9% mainly to other European countries. Biopetrol said it was able to exploit the logistical advantages of its seaport locations at Rostock and Rotterdam to strengthen its international trade in biodiesel and biodiesel components. However it reported a negative Ebitda of 11.8 million euros, compared with a positive 8.3 million euro the year before.

The company is building a plant in Rottterdam with an annual capacity of 400,000 tonnes of biodiesel and 60,000 tonnes of bioglycerine. This will more than double its capacity to a total of 750,000 tonnes. World Energy adds that Biopetrol may idle its 400,000 mt/year biodiesel plant in Rotterdam for up to 18 months as it waits for conditions to improve. The company will also sublease its Rotterdam tanks while rates are high.

Dutch producers of biodiesel say they are unable to compete with imports of US product, Radio Netherlands reports. They say the US has managed to circumvent the extra EU duty by exporting to Europe through Canada. (May 21, 2009)


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