Rotterdam increases transhipment of biofuels

Nov 05, 2008 01:00 AM

The transhipment of biofuels in the port of Rotterdam increased in the first half of 2008 from 1 mm tons to 2.5 mm tons. The ratio of ethanol to biodiesel was almost 50/50.
The products were manufactured mainly overseas: ethanol in Brazil and biodiesel largely in the United States. Part of the incoming trade was used on the continent and some shipped on further by smaller sea-going vessel to England and Scandinavia in particular.

The outgoing flow, however, also contained production from the continent, brought in mainly by barge.
Biodiesel throughput showed a particularly sharp increase: it almost tripled from 430,000 tons to 1,300,000 tons. This trend is expected to continue in the second half of the year.

Throughput x 1,000 tons, only by ocean-going vessel. The ethanol related, in unknown ratios, to both fuel (additive) and feedstock for other use.
Year -- Ethanol In -- Ethanol Out -- Biodiesel In -- Biodiesel Out -- Total In -- Total Out
2007 -- 300 -- 160 -- 260 -- 170 -- 560 -- 430
2008 -- 800 -- 400 -- 820 -- 480 -- 1,620 -- 880

Production of biodiesel
In 2009, production of biodiesel can also commence in the Rotterdam port area. The two plants will have a joint capacity in excess of 600,000 tons. As a result, the Netherlands will be able to leap up the European league table.
The European Biodiesel Board estimates that EU production capacity in 2008 will be around 16 mm tons. However, 3 mm tons of this is idle and a lot of other capacity is under-utilised.

By far the most capacity can be found in Germany: 5.3 mm tons. France, with almost 2 mm tons, Italy (1.5) and Spain (1.3) follow. Belgium and the United Kingdom are below the 750,000 ton mark and Austria and Portugal below 500,000.
The Netherlands and Poland account for 450,000 and 570,000 tons respectively.

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