Braskem set to ship sustainability-certified ETBE to Europe

03 November 2011 16:46  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Brazilian producer Braskem expects to ship ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) holding the Bonsucro certificate of sustainability to Europe in the next few weeks, a company source said on Thursday.

The company has recently completed an audit to establish its ETBE, which is a biofuel, as sustainable. Bonsucro is one of seven such schemes which have been recognised by the European Commission, and any material holding the certificates will comply with guidelines in the Renewable Energy Directive (RED).

RED sets out the criteria necessary for biofuels to meet if they are to count towards the European target of 10% biofuels in all transportation fuels by 2020, and applies to all EU states.

Currently only Germany and Austria strictly adhere to these guidelines, while other states are expected to adopt them more gradually in the run-up to 2020. In the key German market, ETBE that is certified as sustainable can command significant premiums over regular uncertified material.

However, despite being approved by the Commission, Bonsucro has not been specifically recognised by the German Federal Agency for Food and Agriculture (BLE), and it is unclear if Braskem’s ETBE will command the same high premiums.

In Germany, material holding the International Sustainability and Carbon Certificate (ISCC), one of three schemes specifically recognised by Germany, regularly fetches premiums over methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) of $290/tonne (€212/tonne) FOB (free on board) ARA (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp), or higher.

MTBE is a similar, non-bio gasoline additive.  

Current premiums for ETBE without sustainability certification are around $75–125/tonne.

Braskem is the only producer of ETBE outside of Europe, where it is used as a gasoline additive.

($1 = €0.73)

By: Ross Yeo
+44 208 652 3214

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