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Spanish biofuels producers seek government help

9 Mar 2012, 11.47 am GMT

Spanish biofuels producers demand government help

Perpignan, 9 March (Argus) — Spanish association of renewable energy producers Appa has asked the centre-right government for action to help troubled biofuel producers.

Appa has drawn up a 10-point plan aimed at boosting domestic biofuels consumption, especially of locally produced supply. Many Spanish biofuel producers are in precarious financial position and the government should act immediately. “The implementation of these measures is urgent, they are essential to save what has become a dying industry. The future of the producers and their thousands of employees rests in the hand of the government,” said Alfonso Ausin, president of Appa's biofuels branch.

A first measure from lawmakers should be an introduction of mandated levels of consumption set aside solely for Spanish producers. Spain has about 100,000 b/d (4.9mn t/yr) of biodiesel and bioethanol production capacity with domestic demand for 2011 estimated at about 40,000b/d. But imports — mainly from Argentina and Indonesia — met about 60pc of consumption last year, despite this overcapacity.

Appa wants the target for consumption to be raised to 4.37mn t/yr of biodiesel and 487,000 t/yr of bioethanol by 2020 — enough to cover existing domestic output — an increase of around 16.5pc on existing goals. It wants the government to speed up adoption of E10 biodiesel at all service stations, in part by removing a requirement for them to supply 95 Ron gasoline. In addition, Appa wants the country to implement technical standards for fuels that carry and allow other biofuel blends such as B10, B30 and E85 to be sold alongside E10.

Other measures include tax incentives for biofuels producers and feedstock producers, a national programme to collect waste vegetable oil and an obligation for fuel retailers and wholesalers to be able to store and distribute biofuels. Appa also wants the government to revoke legislation allowing the autonomous cities of Melilla and Ceuta and the Canary Islands to reduce their biofuels consumption targets. “These measures are needed to stop the serious crisis overwhelming the industry in Spain and to allow it to realise its full potential,” Ausin said.

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