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  • European Biodiesel Board

EBB: EU action proves urgent as biofuel producers furlough workers

The European Biodiesel Board said July 9 that while biodiesel from China continues to flood into the European markets, policymakers in the European Commission deliberate their response.


The EBB, which brought a trade case before the institutions, remains confident antidumping measures will be announced soon.


The devastating effects of the situation, however, are clearly shown throughout Europe, according to EBB.


In mere weeks, Chevron Renewable Energy Group has furloughed German workers, Shell paused the construction of a biobased diesel plant in the Netherlands, BP is pausing a biofuel project in Germany and Argent Energy even closed a biorefinery.


“While Chinese imports are not the only reason for these decisions, the biodiesel dumping has contributed to the difficulties producers face,” EBB stated. “The European biodiesel producers call for urgent action. Trusting informal exchanges with our members, we expect announcements to come out soon.” 


As a frontrunner in climate ambitions, the European Union has created a regulatory environment and market for biofuels.


While the demand in Europe is only set to increase due to legislative initiatives in the Fit for 55 Package, the biofuels to supply this demand may not come from Europe.


The effects in scaling down or even halting production of biodiesel and renewable diesel will be felt throughout the transport sector, compromising Europe’s ability to produce the mandated fuel required to defossilize the road, maritime and aviation transport, EBB stated.


“Meanwhile, through directions and heavy support by the Chinese government, the Chinese biodiesel industry has developed over the past years to almost exclusively target the EU market,” EBB stated. “The predicted and feared effect is there: Investments are being postponed. Construction halted. Capacity is dialed down. Workers are furloughed. Some European producers that continue to operate are selling their product outside the EU. Customers in countries like the United States, which have successfully shielded their industry from Chinese biofuels dumping, can offer more competitive prices. The EU remains the largest importer of biofuels in the world, while its domestic producers are forced to export. The EU must act now to avoid the collapse of the EU industry and its upstream agricultural sector, and the dramatic impact on jobs across the EU. The feasibility of achieving the EU climate goals depends on it. We cannot allow for this demand to be met by unfair and possibly fraudulent imports—now and in the future.”


Xavier Noyon, the secretary general of EBB, said, “Now is the time for the European Commission to act. The Fit for 55 Package will require a huge uptake for all renewable fuels and precisely at the moment they are needed, business cases for investment have collapsed. The commission has the tools to restore the level playing field, and we are confident they will act accordingly.”



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