In Rotterdam, Europe’s most important port for the handling, storage and production of biofuels, the throughput of these products was 15% lower in 2014 than in 2013, representing a decrease to 3.8 million tonnes. This is primarily due to a decrease in imports of biodiesel from Indonesia and Argentina as a result of extra import duties and taxes on dumping. Declining imports have been compensated by the growth of domestic production. The general impression that the biofuel market has become more of an internal EU market is being mirrored by the trends in throughput in Rotterdam.
The incoming volume dropped from 1.1 to 0.7 million tonnes. Additional import duties and taxes on dumping caused a decrease in imports from Indonesia and Argentina. The most important countries of origin were Spain (60%) and Malaysia. The decline of imports created opportunities for more domestic European production. Also in Rotterdam, biodiesel capacity has been taken in production again.
Exports increased from 1.5 to 1.6 million tonnes, with the most important destinations being the United Kingdom 42%) and France (17%).
After a peak in 2008, ethanol handling has gradually dropped to 1 million tonnes in 2014. Imports in 2014 came primarily from France and the United Kingdom, together accounting for 45%. For several years imports from countries that have been made exempt from import duties, such as Guatemala, Peru, Costa Rica and Pakistan, have been increasing.
Export levels decreased by 100,000 tonnes to 0.5 million tonnes. The U.K. is by far the most important recipient of exports with a share of 45%. Sweden, the country with the most flexible-fuel cars, follows at nearly 15%.
The handling of ETBE decreased from 0.7 million to 0.5 million tonnes. With a share of 70%, France is by far the most important destination for ETBE exports. Most imports, more than 55%, also originate there. Brazil is the second highest with a share of nearly 40%.
Bio Port Rotterdam
Bio Port Rotterdam is Europe’s largest hub for biofuels and home to the largest renewable industry cluster in the world. The Port of Rotterdam has strong ambitions for further growth of the renewable industry. It has designated a 80 hectare site on its latest port expansion Maasvlakte 2 for the bio-based industry. Together with specialized industrial utility companies Evides, Vopak, E.ON and Stedin ‘Plug&Play’-facilities are provided. Bio-based businesses enjoy consequently a reduction of up to 20% of the need for capital expenditures. With the basic infrastructure in place newcomers can focus on their core business.
Throughput in millions of tonnes
Ethanol Biodiesel ETBE Totaal
Throughput 2002 – 2014 (in metric tonnes)
(1) Biodiesel is a combination of methyl esters (FAME) and hydrogenated vegetable oils (HVO)
(2) Ethanol in this case is a combination of bioethanol for mixing into petrol, conventional ethanol from oil, bioethanol for the chemical industry and E90.
(3) ETBE = ethyl-tert-butyl-ether. This product is comparable to MTBE (methyl-tert-butyl-ether), with ethanol as one of the ingredients instead of methanol. The ethanol has a biological origin.