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Vopak, Biopetrol to add biodiesel plant

A group company of Royal Vopak (Vopak), Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Biopetrol Industires AG (Biopetrol), Zug, Switzerland, have signed a long-term co-site agreement to produce biodiesel and pharma-glycerine in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, according to Vopak information.

Biopetrol will construct its third production facility at Vopak's terminal, Botlek Noord.

"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," said Rob Nijst, division president, Vopak Oil Europe, Middle East & Africa. "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 TX and Darwin, Australia.”

The plant is slated to 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.

The plant will enable Biopetrol's goal of increasing annual capacity to 750,000 tons of biodiesel by 2008.

“In Rotterdam we have found the ideal location for our company in Europe, which offers us a clear competitive edge," said Klaus Henschel, Biopetrol chief operation officer. "We will be present in Europe’s largest refinery center and therefore close to our clients. 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.“

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, Biopetrol produces biodiesel in Schwarzheide, Germany.

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