31 July 2009 23:18 [Source: ICIS news]
BUENOS AIRES (ICIS news)--Unitec Bio stopped exporting biodiesel because the Argentine government has not reimbursed it and other producers for taxes they paid on raw materials, a company executive said on Friday.
Argentine biodiesel exporters are supposed to receive a refund on a 20% tax that the government charges on raw materials.
However, “the Argentine government has not paid the corresponding reimbursements in the last nine months”, said Fernando Pelaez, CEO of Unitec Bio and president of the Argentine Biofuels Chamber (CARBIO).
Carlos St James, president of the Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber (CAER), also said that the government has not refunded the taxes in the past nine months.
The Argentine Energy Secretariat would not comment on the tax reimbursements.
The withheld refunds has pressured the finances of biodiesel producers, as soybean oil makes up 80% of their costs, said Joaquin Varela, sales manager for Patagonia Bioenergias, a biodiesel manufacturer.
"This situation has created a hole in the financial situation of the local biofuel producers, since the firms were already counting with the money from these refunds in their forecasts,” Varela said.
As it is, biodiesel producers are not making any profits, Pelaez said. Now, they have to compensate for the withheld refunds.
Aggravating the tax situation is a vacant position within the government. The national fuels sub-secretary has been vacant since Alejandro Rodriguez left the post in 17 July 2008.
Pelaez said the results of the recent legislative elections could encourage the government to resume refunding the taxes.To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect
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