A French biodiesel maker is expanding its production capacity to help meet increased blending requirements in the European country. Reuters reports Avril, the European Union’s largest maker of biodiesel, has opened a 100,000-tonne-per-year refinery on France’s Mediterranean coast.
The facility at Sete, where Avril’s Saipol oilseed processing and refining branch already has a plant, will allow the group to raise biodiesel capacity to 1.7 million tonnes, Jean-Philippe Puig told Reuters in a phone interview.
Avril shut two plants in northern France in 2013, reducing its French capacity by 20 percent, after the government said it wanted to pause the rise in biofuel blending in fuels at 7 percent.
It raised the level by one percent for biodiesel late last year.
“The rise in capacity follows a rise in blending levels in France to 8 percent. Even if it’s not the case today in all gas stations, we should stretch towards 8 percent in the coming months,” Puig said.
Avril chose southern France over the north, where competition is high with Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands, which are facing overcapacity.