Germany E10 adds to refining sector woes – refinery executive

16 March 2012 17:57  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The launch of 10% bioethanol blended gasoline (E10) in Germany last year further worsened business conditions for refiners in the country, an industry executive said on Friday.

Thomas Gerber, general manager of Klesch Group’s Heide refinery near Hamburg said the European refining industry is faced with overcapacities of up to 20%.

The launch of E10 added to those overcapacities as it forced Germany’s refiners to build up capacity for a fuel that drivers were reluctant to buy, Gerber said.

The situation was especially hard for the Heide refinery, which does not have its own network of petrol stations and as such cannot influence drivers’ decisions at the pump, he added.

Last year, the Heide refinery had to pay €3.5m ($4.6m) in fines, ordered by Germany’s environment ministry, for not providing sufficient volumes of bioethanol-blended gasoline, he added.

Switzerland-based industrial and trading group Klesch acquired the Heide refinery in 2010 from Shell.

In addition to refined fuels, the 4.5m tonne/year refinery also supplies feedstocks for the chemical industry.

In related news, Klesch said this week that it made an offer to acquire a refinery in France from insolvent Petroplus.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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