Argentina’s Renova to double refined glycerine capacity by October

09 August 2012 13:47  [Source: ICIS news]

NANNING, China (ICIS)--Argentina-based producer Renova will double its refined glycerine capacity by October when it brings on stream a 50,000 tonne/year facility in San Lorenzo, a company official said on Thursday.

This in turn may reduce the amount of crude glycerine the company has available for export to markets such as China and Europe, said Alejandro Basualdo, Renova’s manager, speaking on the sidelines of the International Oleochemical Market Forum in Nanning, China, which runs from the 9-10 August.

Renova currently produces around 120,000-125,000 tonnes of crude glycerine as a by-product of its biodiesel operations, and about half of the crude glycerine is refined by the company, Basualdo estimated.

By the end of 2012, Renova will boost its crude glycerine production to nearly 160,000 tonnes/year - in tandem with plans to raise its biodiesel capacity by 30% to 1.3m tonnes annually. Although Basualdo said around 80% of its total supply will be dedicated to further refining.

“This means that we will potentially have less crude glycerine for export,’’ Basualdo said.

China is a major buyer of crude glycerine and it relies mainly on South America for its import requirements.

Chinese participants said the supply of crude glycerine from Argentina has declined this year as producers opt to divert their supply to more lucrative markets such as Europe.

There are also concerns about a slowdown in the biodiesel industry in Argentina after its key market of Spain introduced a quota system to import only EU-produced biodiesel earlier this year, industry players said.

Basualdo said the impact of a potential drop in biodiesel exports to Spain could be mitigated by increased demand from Germany, as well as higher domestic consumption as Argentina is raising its biodiesel blending mandate to 10% from 7%. There are also new applications in power generation, agricultural equipment and public transportation, he said.

($1 = €0.81)

By: Yeow Pei Lin

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