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Statoil previews upcoming biofuels presentation

Bioenergy International expo & conference is organised by leading publication Biofuels International (BI) magazine, and here Dag Roger Rinde (DRR), managing director of Statoil Energy & Retail Norway, provides an insight into what he will be speaking about at the event in Prague, Czech Republic, on 5-6 May.

Statoil is the first company in Norway to offer 5% ethanol to general consumers, but it has now been an easy ride. The company’s story is full of setbacks and obstacles, not least from the government itself.

Rinde will speak about how the company overcame the challenges to achieve this feat. From the beginning of this year 40% of Statoil’s service stations will now sell the biofuel Bensin 95, starting with southern and eastern Norway. This will reduce carbon emissions by 11,000 tonnes a year.

In 2009 Statoil also launched diesel with 6% biodiesel throughout Norway. Total emission reductions resulting from Statoil’s biofuel drive in Norway will now stand at about 66,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

BI: What is the main subject of your presentation?
DRR: I will talk about some of the challenges and setbacks Statoil have met when we have aimed to position us as the leading provider of responsible transport energy in our markets. We have learned a lot and we have taken a position in Norway as a biofuel leader.

BI: Can you update us on your plans in the biofuels sector?
DRR: In Norway Statoil works on expanding our distribution of E5 to cover the entire country - we must reach a 5% bio share nationally by May 2011. On a European level we aim to strengthen our role as a responsible transport energy provider, with the same strategy but slightly different tools in the eight countries we operate. We also prepare ourselves to introduce new qualities in the future.

BI: How have you been impacted by the economy?
DRR: Norway is among the countries that has been least affected by the financial crisis, Sweden is also doing well, but our Statoil colleagues in the Baltics have faced really tough market conditions in the last couple of years.

BI: What are the main obstacles involved in introducing biofuels in Norway?
DRR: Historically it has been three issues; unpredictable vehicle taxation, unpredictable fuel taxation and changing political messages: biofuels can be treated as a ‘sustainable alternative’ one day and ‘food for fuel’ the next.

BI: What is Norway’s capacity for producing biofuels?
DRR: Norway has limited national production; presently we are producing some biogas and we are mainly talking test volumes on biofuels. Future scenarios involve large scale production based on our wood resources, and algae.

BI: How much work do you do with biofuels in surrounding countries?
DRR: Statoil is a European company, and we cooperate across borders all the time. We sell the biggest volumes in Sweden, and we have invested in production in Lithuania, where we produce biodiesel that we sell in several countries.

BI: What incentives are you offered for working with biofuels in Norway?
DRR: There is no tax on E85, and no CO2 tax on the bioethanol component in E5. We had a tax exemption on biodiesel, but are facing half diesel tax in 2010 and full diesel tax from 2011.

Those wanting to hear the entire presentation can attend Bioenergy International expo & conference in Prague on 5-6 May and will receive a 10% early booking discount if they register before 1st April.

Key speakers at the event include H.E. Mr. Jan Dusík, Minister of the Environment for the Czech Republic, Ivan Soucek, CEO, Ceska Rafinerska, Marc Gillmann, Bioenergy expert, Total, Miroslav Bažata, Head of biofuel sales, Agropodnik, Robert Gmyrek, Director, Biofuels Department, PKN Orlen, Jaroslav Pešek, Head of quality and strategic reserves department, Cepro and many more.

As an added bonus the price for the conference includes a biodiesel plant tour on 4 May and places will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis.
The tour will be held at Preol’s state-of-the-art biodiesel plant in the industrial region of Lovosice. The plant, designed by Desmet Ballestra, has the capacity to produce 100,000 tonnes of FAME biodiesel and 10,000 tonnes a year of glycerine. It also has an integrated oil mill capable of processing 400,000 tonnes of rape seed a year and 160,000 tonnes of rapeseed oil, as well as 230,000 tonnes of rape meal.

The full conference programme can be viewed at http://www.biofuelsinternationalexpo.com/conf_prog.html

Bioenergy International expo & conference, which rebranded this year to focus on bioenergy and biomass as well as just biodiesel and bioethanol, is a two day exhibition and conference which will look in depth at second generation biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol, ways to source sustainable biomass, pyrolysis technology, the potential of biogas across Europe, developments in the use of bioenergy for aviation, future feedstocks such as algae and jatropha and the challenges of storing and handling both biomass and biofuels.

For further information visit www.biofuelsinternationalexpo.com or contact Margaret Garn +44 208 687 4126 margaret@biofuels-news.com