Spanish oil and gas company Repsol YPF has decided to freeze a EUR 100 million construction of a bio-diesel plant in Tarragona, southwestern Catalonia region, Cinco Días reports. The decision was attributed to excessive bio-diesel supply, as well as to the current economic crisis.
Repsol announced the construction of the plant in 2007 and said it would be completed in a term of three years. Its annual output capacity was estimated at 150,000 mt.
Ireland’s foremost expert in energy crops has welcomed the decision of the EU to increase tariffs on the import of cheap subsidised bio-fuel from the US which has been causing havoc to the development of the sector in Europe, Irish Times reports. He said the imposition of import and anti-dumping duties on bio-diesel from the US would help stimulate interest in growing fuel crops. “But we are not at the stage where it is possible to grow fuel crops profitably. “The import of this bio-fuel was not helping us get the industry off the ground here, and it was a major barrier because it was not only subsidised at the rate of 20 cent per litre by US subsidies, but also benefited from the 37 cent per litre excise relief here,” he said.
Ireland has four pure plant oil units operating and a major bio-diesel plant in New Ross, Co Wexford. There has been a steady growth in wood pellet, elephant grass and willow production and the Irish Farmers’ Association has said 10,000 rural jobs could be created in the sector if it received full Government backing. (6 March 2009)