Global mandate needed for biodiesel industry survival – executive

12 March 2013 17:09  [Source: ICIS news]

ROTTERDAM (ICIS)--The introduction of a global biodiesel mandate could help solve the industry’s overcapacity issues, a US biodiesel producer said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the World Biofuels Market conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Imperium Renewables CEO John Plaza said that a global approach to mandates could improve confidence in the market and ease global trade disputes.

“We have to find ways to stop poaching on each others’ markets and find ways to establish a global mandate,” said Plaza. “The world market either needs to be a free for all or each as an isolated market."

According to Plaza, the food for fuel debate has eroded public trust, which in turn has changed government policy and limited the opportunities for growth in the industry.

He said:“There has been $20m (€15.4m) lost in the US biodiesel industry as there is no certainty month to month and year to year.

“Policy can be supportive, but it needs to be based on sound credible science and needs to be evaluated on all other forms of energy,” he added.

Fellow speaker Gustavo Idigoras, trade advisor to the Argentine Biofuels Association (CARBIO), also saw the need for higher mandates as a solution for the biodiesel industry.

Idigoras said that CARBIO is pushing for a 10% mandate in Argentina, and testing is underway for blends of 20% to allow the country to utilise its huge biodiesel capacity.

Session moderator Claudio Rochietta - managing director of Biofuels Partners and former president of the European Biodiesel Board - said the biodiesel industry is inextricably linked to mandates, but did not see higher mandates as a one-fits-all solution.

“Mandates make for continuous adjustment. We are adding levels of legislation on top of each other,” Rochietta said.

“Sometimes I think we should step back and revaluate the old system,” he added.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Kate Wilcock
+44 208 652 3214

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