Germany could face biodiesel squeeze on new rules

30 July 2010 16:34  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Germany could face a squeeze in biodiesel supplies this year as many of the country’s rapeseed farmers and dealers are slow to comply with new sustainability rules, a biofuels producers trade group said on Friday.

If farmers and dealers were not complying, Germany’s biodiesel producers were not allowed to use the rapeseed for biodiesel production, raising the spectre of supply squeezes, said Elmar Baumann, general manager of Berlin-based Verband der Deutschen Biokraftstoffindustrie (VDB).

About 60% of Germany’s rapeseed output goes into biodiesel production, and that share has been rising, according to VDB.

However, despite the significance of the biodiesel market for rapeseed farmers and dealers, so far only very few along the feedstock supply chains had complied, Baumann said.

The new process, which was implemented to ensure that the rapeseed used for biodiesel was produced sustainably, required that farmers made a “self-declaration,” while dealers needed to obtain certification, he said.

“We are calling on farmers and dealers to act immediately, so that producers will be able to supply the market with sustainably produced and certified biodiesel,” he said.

“If they don’t act immediately, they will have missed the boat and won’t be able to sell their production,” he added.

Germany’s biodiesel industry is Europe's largest.

The country's biodiesel firms produced 2.5m tonnes of product last year - well below industry capacity of 4.9m tonnes, and down from 2.8m tonnes produced in 2008, according to the latest data from trade group European Biodiesel Board (EBB). 

Check out Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals Blog for views on sustainability issues
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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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