Spanish organizations take action in support of local production

By Erin Voegele | April 27, 2011

Biofuels and industry advocates in Spain are encouraging the Spanish government to follow in the steps of France, Italy, Greece and Portugal by taking action to protect the country’s domestic biodiesel industry.

According to information released by Spanish trade union Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO), biofuel imported to Spain at below market prices has resulted in plant closures, downsizing and layoffs. The organization and its federation FITEQA recently met with officials in the Spanish government to discuss these concerns. The CCOO stressed that it is necessary for the government to take decisive and consistent political action to mitigate the impacts of low-priced imports that have resulted from “deliberate distortion of charges and exemptions.” The CCOO also called for the immediate adoption of a draft ministerial decree that would establish a system of allocation of production quantities of biodiesel, and noted that the delay of that degree is seriously damaging the future and viability of the biodiesel industry. According to the CCOO, similar measures have been taken in France, Italy, Greece and Portugal.

Information released by the CCOO states that Spain’s director general for Energy Policy Analysis has expressed “his conviction and commitment that [the] decree could come into force in the coming weeks.” This would occur once necessary formalities and mandatory reporting actions are complete.

Roderic Miralles, president of Asociación de Productores de Energías Renovables (APPA Biofuels), has also encouraged government action to support the economic sustainability of Spain’s biodiesel industry. Miralles recently addressed the country’s Joint Committee for the Study of Climate Change Congress of Deputies, where he said that “to enhance the undoubted benefit of biofuels and advancing the fight against climate change, urgent measures are needed to ensure [an economically sustainable] Spanish industry.”

According to the APPA, the Spanish biodiesel industry suffered due to illegal U.S. biodiesel exports during a period spanning from 2007 to 2009, which forced the EU to establish anti-dumping tariffs. Since then, the APPA said unfair imports from Argentina and Indonesia have flooded Spain’s domestic market. To remedy this situation, APPA has asked the Ministry of Industry to commission a mechanism that would ensure that only biodiesel produced in Spain could be used to meet the country’s biofuel obligations.

 

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