Positive Environment News

German Biodiesel Firm To Use Chip Fat In UK, US

Date: 19-Mar-08
Country: GERMANY

One production plant is planned in each country producing about 100,000 tonnes of biodiesel annually from about 100,000 tonnes of waste cooking oils, said Petrotec CEO Roger Boeing.

The company already produces about 85,000 tonnes of biodiesel annually at Borken in north Germany using waste cooking oil collected from restaurants, snack bars and cafes.

German technology currently used would also be used to start production in the U.K. and US, said Boeing.

"Both countries have a culture involving fried food such as fish and chips which produces large volumes of waste fat which we can use our technical know-how to process," he said.

Sites are currently being sought in both countries. In the UK, possible sites under consideration include Teeside in north England and the Thames region in the south.

In the US the New York region and the west coast, possibly San Francisco Bay, are being examined, he said.

He could not give a time scale for the projects, which could each involve investment of around 22 million euros.

Both would produce for their respective home markets, primarily for blending with fossil diesel at oil refineries.

"We are considering partnerships for both projects, both for marketing and for the collection of used oil," he said. "The timing could depend on how long it takes to settle such partnerships."


Boeing also confirmed that the company's delayed plant to produce 100,000 tonnes of biodiesel annually at Germany's North Sea port of Emden is now set to start production in April 2008.

Emden had originally been scheduled to start operations at the beginning of this year but was delayed because of the crisis in Germany's domestic biodiesel market.

He said about 75 percent of Germany's biodiesel production capacity was now idle, largely because of the government's decision to tax biodiesel, which removed its price advantage.

As biodiesel has a lower energy content than fossil diesel, it needed to be cheaper. Although Germany has introduced compulsory blending of biodiesel with fossil diesel, much of the green fuel required for this was being imported.

In October 2007, Petrotec suspended production at its main Borken plant because of poor sales following the German taxes.

Output at Borken has been resumed with production now aimed at the European oil refinery blending markets outside Germany including the UK, Netherlands and Belgium.

"We are confident we will be able to operate the Emden plant at high capacity and we already have settled relatively large blending contracts with the foreign oil industry for the current year," he said.

"The other plant at Borken has been running since Jan. 1 at relatively high capacity."

(Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Peter Blackburn)

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