EU states to allow new biofuels feedstocks by Sept 2025

  • : Biofuels, Biomass
  • 24/05/17

EU states have to amend laws, regulations and administrative provisions by 14 September 2025, to allow for the expansion of eligible feedstocks for biofuels and biogas under the bloc's renewables law, according to a new directive published today.

The new commission directive expands eligible biofuels feedstocks to crops grown on severely degraded land risks as well as intermediate and cover crops.

The EU law distinguishes between "advanced" uses, in aviation, for biofuels coming from intermediate and cover crops as well as crops grown on severely degraded land risks.

Use in maritime or road sectors is defined as "mature" and capped at 1.7pc of the share of transport fuels and electricity under part B of the EU's renewable directive's annex IX.

The EU has also added feedstocks such as cyanobacteria, advanced feedstocks fusel oils from alcoholic distillation and raw methanol from kraft pulping from wood pulp production.

Intermediate, catch and cover from single harvest areas are now included as advanced if they do not trigger demand for additional land and soil organic matter content is maintained, albeit only when used for biofuels in the aviation sector. Similarly biofuels made from non-food or feed crops grown on severely degraded land are deemed advanced when used as biofuel for aviation.

For part B mature feedstocks, the EU has added non-intentionally damaged crops not fit for food or feed use, municipal wastewater and derivatives other than sewage sludge. Additionally crops from severely degraded land and intermediate crops are deemed mature, when not used for aviation biofuel.

The commission only proposed the delegated directive on 14 March. Publication in the bloc's official journal brings to an end a long period of discussion with various draft legislative documents.


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24/06/18

Phillips 66 targets high Rodeo runs

Phillips 66 targets high Rodeo runs

Houston, 18 June (Argus) — Low-carbon feedstock and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) opportunities will support strong run rates from Phillips 66's converted renewables plant in Rodeo, California, this year, chief executive Mark Lashier said today. The outlook heralded a high output from the converted Rodeo refinery ramping up toward 50,000 b/d of renewable diesel capacity by the end of this month, despite historic lows in state and federal incentives for the fuel. "Where we are today, economically, yes, the credits are kind of compressed, but feedstocks are lower than we anticipated as well," Lashier told the JP Morgan Energy, Power & Renewables conference. "We still see good economic incentives to run and run full." The US independent refiner had started up pre-treatment units at the plant to begin processing lower-carbon feedstocks for renewable diesel in July and August, he said, consistent with previous guidance. "That's how you really make money in these assets — you get the lowest-carbon intensity feedstocks at the best value and process them through the hydrocrackers," Lashier said. " The facility would also bring online 10,000 b/d of renewable jet fuel blendstock production supporting 20,000 b/d of blended sustainable aviation fuel, a product Phillips 66 had not targeted in the initial concept for the site, he said. Both state and federal incentives to supply renewable diesel along the west coast have fallen as the fuel inundates those markets. Renewable diesel alone made up roughly 57pc of California's liquid diesel pool and generated 40pc of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits in the state's market-based transportation fuel carbon reduction program by the end of last year. The supply of lower-carbon fuels, led by renewable diesel, to the west coast LCFS markets have outstripped demand for deficit-generating petroleum fuels and led to growing reserves of available credits for compliance. California amassed more than 23mn metric tonnes of credits by the end of last year — more than enough left over after satisfying all of the new deficits generated last year to offset them a second time. The volume of unused credits has sent their price tumbling to nine-year lows. Oregon and Washington credits, which are needed for similar but distinct programs in those states, have similarly dropped as renewable diesel supplies spread out along the west coast. Gasoline consumption generates almost all new deficits in California. Year-over-year demand for the fuel nationwide has fallen below expectations this spring, Lashier said. "We are not really seeing things pick up like a lot of us expected to," he said. Lower-income customers struggling with higher costs on everything they buy may have forgone vacations, he said. The drop in broader buying power meanwhile had rippled through diesel consumption, he said. "As we move towards more expensive energy sources, that's the part of the economy that gets squeezed as well," Lashier said. "Hopefully we move through that and reverse and that part of the economy can pick up as well as the higher end of the economy." By Elliott Blackburn Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Amtrak used 1.2mn USG renewable diesel in 2023


24/06/18
24/06/18

Amtrak used 1.2mn USG renewable diesel in 2023

New York, 18 June (Argus) — US passenger rail service Amtrak used 1.2mn USG of renewable diesel in fiscal year 2023, up from zero the prior year, as the company balances near-term climate targets with goals to increase ridership. Amtrak started using renewable diesel on its Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin, and Pacific Surfliner intercity passenger lines in California during the fiscal year that ended September 2023. Renewable diesel accounted for about 2pc of the company's diesel use over that period, according to a sustainability report Amtrak released this week. The rail service's petroleum diesel use rose by about 6pc year-over-year, reflecting increases in ridership as travel recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. Scope 1 emissions, which come from Amtrak's direct operations and which mostly include burning diesel fuel, were up by more than 3pc from fiscal year 2022. While Amtrak's highly traveled Northeast Corridor is electrified, most of its lines rely on diesel-fueled locomotives. The company plans to replace diesel-powered engines over the long term but says it expects to use renewable diesel as a stopgap solution in the short term and is aiming for the biofuel to become its "main fuel source" for its diesel-powered engines. While the 2022 sustainability report made passing reference to biodiesel — a separate biofuel that can be blended at smaller volumes with petroleum diesel than renewable diesel — the 2023 report only mentions efforts to scale up use of renewable diesel. Amtrak has a goal of curbing greenhouse gas emissions by 40pc from a 2010 baseline by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2045. Most renewable diesel in the US is consumed in California, which has a low-carbon fuel standard that incentivizes the use of lower-carbon fuels. By Cole Martin Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Japan’s Idemitsu, Air Water to supply B5 biodiesel


24/06/18
24/06/18

Japan’s Idemitsu, Air Water to supply B5 biodiesel

Tokyo, 18 June (Argus) — Japanese refiner Idemitsu and industrial gas supplier Air Water plan to supply B5 biodiesel to domestic construction company Kashima for use at its construction sites in Hokkaido prefecture, starting from mid-June. Kashima will use B5 biodiesel, typically a blend of 5pc biodiesel and conventional diesel, for its construction machinery and power generators, expecting to consume up to 1,600 kiloitres/yr. Kashima is unsure how much carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions it can curb by replacing diesel with biodiesel, although B5 biodiesel can usually reduce CO2 emissions by 5pc compared with conventional diesel. Idemitsu will produce diesel at its refinery in Hokkaido, while Air Water will manufacture the biodiesel with Idemitsu's diesel by using used cooking oil collected from kitchens at Seicomart convenience stores in Hokkaido. Idemitsu will then check the quality of the B5 biodiesel and sell it to Kashima. Idemitsu aims to expand its biodiesel supplies outside Hokkaido in the future, although it declined to disclose further details. Idemitsu is attempting to build supply chains of sustainable aviation fuels, biodiesel and biomass-based petrochemical goods by 2030 as part of its decarbonisation strategy. The company delivered biofuel made from blending fatty acid methyl ester and heavy fuel oil for trial use on a vessel in Hokkaido during February-March 2023. By Nanami Oki Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Japan’s Yatsushiro biomass plant starts operations


24/06/17
24/06/17

Japan’s Yatsushiro biomass plant starts operations

Tokyo, 17 June (Argus) — The 75MW Yatsushiro biomass power plant in south Japan's Kumamoto prefecture started commercial operations on 16 June. Yatsushiro is planning to generate around 480 GWh/yr and sell the electricity under Japan's feed-in-tariff scheme for 20 years. It burns 240,000 t/yr of wood pellets mainly imported from southeast Asia, including Vietnam, and 60,000 t/yr of wood chips that are domestically produced. The power plant was built by Japan's engineering firm IHI, which began construction in April 2022. IHI will also carry out regular maintenance and inspections. Chubu Electric Power own 49pc of Yatsushiro, along with 37pc held by Toho Gas and 14pc by energy joint venture Ene-Vision. Ene-Vision is 56.5pc owned by Japanese trading house Toyota Tsusho, 26.1pc by domestic farm machine and industrial engine manufacturer Yanmar, 8.7pc by engineering services firm Toyotsu Machinery and 8.7pc by Toho Gas. Another two biomass power plants are scheduled to become on line in Japan this summer, with Renova's 75MW Omaezaki venture in Shizuoka in July and the 50MW Ozu project in Ehime of Japanese upstream firm Japex and its partners in August. By Takeshi Maeda Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Q&A: Phillips 66 to balance fossil and renewable fuels


24/06/14
24/06/14

Q&A: Phillips 66 to balance fossil and renewable fuels

Houston, 14 June (Argus) — With Phillips 66's Rodeo, California, refinery expected to ramp up to over 50,000 b/d of renewable fuels production by the end of this quarter, all eyes are on the refiner for what is next. Zhanna Golodryga , executive vice president of emerging energy and sustainability for Phillips 66, talked to Argus at the refiner's Houston headquarters about how the company looks at investments, its focus on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production and why Texas might be the Silicon Valley of the energy transition. The conversation has been edited for clarity and length. When Rodeo reaches full capacity, it will represent about 3pc of your overall output. What will your fleet look like longer-term and what will be the renewables/petroleum split? Not all the refineries in our portfolio are created equal, and when we look at them what I call them is "lower-carbon energy hubs". Not low, lower, because it's going to be a combination of everything. We're looking at the assets we have in the portfolio and what we can do to help bring in lower carbon solutions and what can we build out. Our focus is going to continue to be SAF. We understand the limitations of feedstocks and we have a very strong commercial organization that is now working on providing feedstocks just for Rodeo. But we're also thinking about what we can do to bring in different feedstocks. Energy transition opportunities aren't going to replace our traditional fossil fuel refining. It's an "and", not an "or". You've highlighted a future focus on SAF. Does that mean a move away from renewable diesel (RD)? I think we have flexibility to do both and it will be market driven going forward. We have to look at demand but there is demand for SAF globally, not just in the US. Demand for gasoline is not as strong as demand for diesel and sustainable aviation fuel. That is what our focus is and then we want to diversify the feedstock. What is your outlook for RD? I think RD is here for quite some time. It's hard to predict what's going to happen by 2050 but I think we will have the demand. It's going to take a long time to electrify all future transportation. I think we have a much better opportunity for now to focus on what we're really good at. That's fuels, renewable fuels. You have faced activist investor pressure calling for Phillips 66 to focus on its core refining business. How do investors feel about the Rodeo conversion and your future plans? We have taken a pragmatic approach to the energy transition. We have criteria that we follow prior to taking any projects over the line, specifically the energy transition type projects. They must meet five key prerequisites: the right returns, the right technology that has been proven at scale, the right regulatory environment, preferably involve a partnership and be done at the right time. We have to prove with Rodeo that this is, as I call it, our license to continue to grow the business. This is our license to operate additional energy transition business. This one is going to be done extremely well. What are the policy tailwinds and headwinds to your renewables investments? When we look at our opportunities in our energy transition portfolio, we are building our economic model for them to produce the right returns without any incentives. That is our starting point. On the other hand, the IRA [US Inflation Reduction Act] has been a bipartisan initiative and we think it's going to stand for the greater good of the planet. We have to think globally, as we have the Humber refinery in the UK. It's interesting for us to see what's possible in the US with the IRA incentives, versus more of a stick in Europe. But the challenge for us is permitting and timing. We probably could have brought Rodeo online sooner if we didn't have to wait for some permits. Our headquarters are in Texas and Texas is the "energy transition Silicon Valley". I'm repeating someone's words and those are the words of Bill Gates. But I believe that. We're perfectly positioned on the Gulf coast to go to the next phase and build something here. You've mentioned Phillips 66's 265,000 b/d Sweeny refinery in Old Ocean, Texas, as a low carbon energy hub. Does that mean it is a candidate for renewable fuel conversion or co-processing? It could be an option, maybe not at Sweeny, but in the Gulf coast, maybe Lake Charles. It's driven by our hardware, just like what we've done at Rodeo. By Nathan Risser Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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