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BIOPETROL to build biodiesel plant at Vopak terminal in Rotterdam, the Netherlands

10 March 2006 01:00

BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG (BIOPETROL) and a group company of Royal Vopak (Vopak) signed a long term co-site agreement. BIOPETROL is to construct its third production facility. The plant will be built in Rotterdam at the Vopak Terminal Botlek Noord. 

Covering a total surface area of 34,000 sqm the plant will produce 400,000 tons of biodiesel and 60,000 tons of pharma-glycerine per year. It is scheduled to start up operation in the third quarter of 2007. This third plant will enable BIOPETROL’s goal of increasing annual capacity to 750,000 tons of biodiesel by 2008 to be achieved more quickly than originally anticipated. 

As Klaus Henschel, Chief Operation Officer of BIOPETROL commented: “In Rotterdam we have found the ideal location for our company in Europe, which offers us a clear competitive edge: First, we will be present in Europe’s largest refinery center and therefore close to our clients. Second, Rotterdam offers a large tank storage capacity. In addition, Rotterdam is the center of the European vegetable oil market. Due to the connections to the sea and the Rhine as well as the pipeline network our logistics costs will also be significantly lower than at any other location.“ 

Rob Nijst, Division President Vopak Oil Europe, Middle East & Africa commented "This contract with BIOPETROL marks for us a significant step. We are very pleased to host and be connected to the largest biodiesel plant in the Netherlands. Biofuels are becoming increasingly important, also for Vopak. We have vast experience with storage of biodiesel in for example Hamburg and London, furthermore we have co-site projects for biodiesel plants in Houston, USA and Darwin, Australia.”

From Rotterdam, BIOPETROL aims to access sales regions in Northern, Western and Central Europe, thereby broadening its client base. The Rotterdam facility will be technically identical to the one in Rostock, Germany, which will be started up in fourth quarter of 2006. At present, the company produces biodiesel in Schwarzheide, Germany.

Biodiesel, a renewable energy, is produced from vegetable oils like rapeseed oil or soy oil. It can be blended with mineral oil based diesel or substitute diesel completely. As it does not contain any sulphur and as it is based on renewable resources it is environmental friendly. 

BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG, based in Zug, Switzerland, produces and distributes premium quality biodiesel and pharmaceutical grade glycerine through its German subsidiaries. Its clients include the mineral oil industry and resellers, large fleet operators and public transport companies. Moreover, pharmaceutical glycerine is supplied to the pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industry. BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG currently produces around 150,000 tons of biodiesel and 30,000 tons of pharmaceutical glycerine per year in Schwarzheide. In early February 2006, the foundation stone for another facility was laid in Rostock. 150,000 tons of biodiesel per year will be produced there from October 2006, and this figure is set to increase to 200,000 tons in the second expansion phase. By the end of 2007, annual capacity should have increased by a factor of five to 750,000 tons of biodiesel.

Profile Vopak
Royal Vopak (Vopak) is the world’s largest independent tank terminal operator specialised in the storage and handling of liquid and gaseous chemical and oil products. On request, Vopak can provide complementary logistics services to customers of its terminals. Vopak operates 73 terminals with a storage capacity of more than 20,4 million cbm in 29 countries. The terminals are strategically located for users and the major shipping routes. The majority of its customers are companies operating in the chemical and oil industries, for which Vopak stores a large variety of products destined for a wide range of industries.