Brazil biodiesel stats, EU vote and more int'l news

Biodiesel production stats from Brazil; a pending EU vote; Canadian biodiesel pump opens; and more international biodiesel news
By Ron Kotrba | July 10, 2013

In collaboration with Brazil’s National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP), the Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries (ABIOVE) released national biodiesel production figures for May. Brazilian biodiesel producers manufactured approximately 62.36 million gallons of biodiesel in May, down slightly from the record-setting month of nearly 68 million gallons in April. For comparison, the U.S. biodiesel sector produced roughly 135 million gallons in May. Year-to-date totals for Brazilian biodiesel production, through May, exceed 305 million gallons. YTD U.S. production exceeds 500 million gallons. According to the ANP/ABIOVE data, 43 percent of Brazil’s YTD production came from the Center-West region, followed by 33 percent of total production coming from the South.

Across the Atlantic, a big committee vote is expected in the EU tomorrow on the proposal to alter the Renewable Energy Directive to limit conventional biofuel production under the Renewable Energy Directive, based on the unsound science of indirect land use change (ILUC). A group calling itself the Leaders of Sustainable Biofuels, comprised of executives from Clariant, British Airways, BTG, Chemrec, Chemtex, Dong Energy, Forest BtL Oy, St1 Biofuels Oy and UPM, is opposing use of animal fats, used cooking oil, palm residue “and any other food feedstock derived residue/waste from the oleochemical, biodiesel and vegetable oil refining.”

The group states, “[We believe] that feedstock eligible for advanced biofuels such as residue/waste derived from oleochemical, biodiesel and vegetable oil refining processing, where nonadvanced / nonsustainable feedstock such as palm oil is used, is absurd and is counterproductive to the objectives of this legislation. The adoption of the long list of feedstock eligible for advanced biofuels, especially in the ITRE opinion amendment 45 including a number of disputable raw materials, is a clear threat to the development of genuine advanced biofuels. Such feedstocks clearly need to be excluded from the definition. A broadening of the definition to include such feedstock opens the door to unsustainable biofuels production from food and feed crops. This will not only have a negative impact on truly advanced biofuels but also poses a high risk for the public perception and image of biofuels: the objective of a longā€term development of feedstock used for advanced biofuels not competing with food and feed products will be clearly jeopardized. The consequences of such a questionable broadening clause and the foreseeable misdeclaration of feedstock will be received very negatively by the general public and will bring industry, the product itself and last but not least political decision makers into discredit. Thus, the Leaders of Sustainable Biofuels strongly believe that it is essential for an effective implementation of the proposal, that the feedstock eligible for advanced biofuels production are lignocellulosic derived (i.e. straw, bagasse, EFB, forestry residues, crude tall oil & tall oil pitch), or manufactured from the biomass fraction of municipal wastes, truly sustainable and that the potential for fraud has to be excluded.”

Examining the companies that make up the LSB group, it appears they have an agenda to promote exclusion of advanced biodiesel made from waste fats, oils and greases from the RED.

In Canada, the Cowichan Valley Biodiesel Co-op, Cowichan Energy Alternatives and the Cowichan Valley Regional District celebrated the opening of Vancouver Island’s first and only biodiesel blending station, a local collection, processing and distribution center providing biofuel from waste cooking oils.

In other international biodiesel news, Sofiproteol is reorganizing its biodiesel activities in France. Algae.Tec struck a deal with Biodiesel Industries Australia to convert algae oil to biodiesel. The algae oil will be produced at a site co-located next to a major coal-fired power station near Sydney. U.K.-based Green Fuels Ltd. will be taking part in the 60th anniversary celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation July 11-14. Lastly, in the United Arab Emirates, Del Monte has converted 20 trucks in its fleet to run on biodiesel. The company plans to convert all its trucks to biodiesel usage by the end of the year.