Legislative challenges remain in EU ethanol market - Steve Hartig

07 November 2013 10:33  [Source: ICIS news]

MUNICH, Germany (ICIS)--Technology being installed by US-based POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels at its Project Liberty cellulosic ethanol plant in Iowa could be transferrable to the EU, although legislative challenges remain, Steve Hartig, general manager for the company, said late on Wednesday.

“The technology is transferrable to the EU market - the companies active in this field are mainly European,” Hartig said, speaking on the sidelines of the FO Licht World Ethanol and Biofuels conference in Munich.

“However, the governmental side of things in the EU is a bit scattered. The EU is really good at research and development but not on the offtake side. Companies ask themselves - if I build it, is there a market for it?” he said.

“If the public policy was there, companies would come,” Hartig added.

“In terms of legislation, Europe tends to look for the perfect scenario instead of looking for a good enough scenario to build on,” he said.

POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels will use the waste residue from corn crops to produce cellulosic ethanol and aim to start their Project Liberty plant during the second quarter of 2014.

The plant is expected to produce 20-25m gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year.

“We aim to bring it from pilot-scale to large-scale from the second quarter, ramping up production over the year,” he said.

“If you look at the large scale plants there are Abengoa, us and DuPont starting plants. These are multi-billion dollar companies building large-scale plants. Next year, we can prove that this technology’s real,” Hartig added.

“The coming year will be an exciting year. We want everyone to succeed – we need serious players showing that this technology works. There’s a big enough market for all of us,” he said.

POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels is a 50/50 joint venture between biofuel producer POET and the biotechnology company Royal DSM.

By: Sarah Trinder
+44 20 8652 3214

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