Major commodities trader invests in biodiesel

By Nicholas Zeman | December 21, 2009
Posted January 5, 2010

As Switzerland's Biopetrol AG closes in on completion of its 400,000 ton per year biodiesel facility at the Port of Rotterdam, one of the world's largest commodities traders, Glencore AG, has purchased a controlling interest in Biopetrol through a 50 percent plus one share stock transaction.

Headquartered in Baar, Switzerland, Glencore sources raw materials for the oil and gas, mineral and metal, and agricultural processing industries.

"Glencore, as the new majority shareholder, is the ideal partner with its leading world-wide commodity business," Biopetrol stated in an official release. "The combination of a financially strong trading platform and modern and logistically advantaged production plants creates the basis for the mid-term utilization of the full production capacities of Biopetrol."

Biopetrol has two production plants already on-line in Schwarzheide and Rostock, Switzerland, with a combined production capacity of 350,000 tons. Glencore-which employs more than 50,000 people in 40 countries-investing in Biopetrol signals that confidence is growing in the European biodiesel market, but the company told Biodiesel Magazine that its policy was to refrain from comment on its transactions or general business outlook.
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