Norway biodiesel plant opens, another pegged for Netherlands

By Ron Kotrba | July 15, 2009
Uniol AS opened its new biodiesel plant in Fredrikstad, Norway, in June. The plant was built by Austrian turnkey provider BDI-Bio-Diesel International AG (BDI), marking its 28th project worldwide. Production capacity for the new Uniol biodiesel refinery is approximately 30 MMgy, and the plant is multifeedstock capable.

"Commitment to the production of environmentally compatible fuels in Norway sends a clear message despite [its] rich oil reserves," said Wilhelm Hammer, the CEO of BDI. "First generation biodiesel is an affordable reality and no longer merely a scientific vision for reducing CO2 emissions and relieving the burden on the environment. International awareness in the CO2 debate will now become visible again." Hammer added that he is pleased with a new directive of the European Parliament that now gives waste-derived biofuels a "weighting factor" for a CO2 assessment two times higher than biofuels from virgin feedstocks. Norway's Minister of the Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim, recently announced an increase in the Norwegian national blend quota, bumping it up from 2.5 percent to 5 percent using "Norwegian biodiesel."

The plant cost Uniol 35 million (approximately $49 million) and was financed by Raiffeisen Leasing Nordic AB out of Stockholm, Sweden.

In addition to the plant opening in Norway, BDI landed another biodiesel plant contract in June, to be built at the port of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Contracted by project owner Biodiesel Amsterdam BV, BDI will receive 31 million to supply and build its 30 MMgy turnkey biodiesel plant design. The biodiesel refinery will process used cooking oils and animal fats, according to BDI.

Biodiesel Amsterdam is slated to be a part of a larger energy park in the port of Amsterdam, where electricity and heat will be produced at a biogas plant to be built on site. Glycerin from biodiesel production is expected to be one of the biogas plant's many feedstocks to be converted into heat and electricity.

"Raw materials, which our customers are able to process, occur almost everywhere and represent a waste disposal problem," Hammer said. "So we're not processing the food of the poor but rather the waste of the rich."

Biodiesel Amsterdam is part of Greenmills, which owns Noba BV, Tank Storage Amsterdam and Rotie Vetveredeling BV, a residual materials specialist. These companies will lend their technologies and expertise in the development of this "future-oriented" energy park in the port of Amsterdam. Biodiesel Amsterdam is expected to come on line in 2010.
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