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France Plans to Triple Biofuels Output in Three Years

Reuters. France unveiled details of its plan to triple the country’s biofuel output within three years and said it still hoped to meet the output target set by the European Union for 2010.

In September,  French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin declared biofuels a national priority and called for an additional 800,000 tonnes of biofuels to be produced by the end of 2007.

The new production is split between 480,000 tonnes of biodiesel and 320,000 tonnes of ethanol, the farm ministry said in a statement. Projects will be chosen in the spring, it said.

Current French biofuel production stands at 100,000 tonnes of ethanol, derived from sugar beet, wheat or maize, which is then blended with fuel, and almost 500,000 tonnes of biodiesel mainly made from rapeseed.

The ministry said that in 2005, bioethanol production will be doubled by the addition of 100,000 tonnes. For biodiesel, the new approvals will mean another 30,000 tonnes.

The EU last year set a target that fuels should contain two percent of biofuels by 2005, a figure rising to 5.75% by 2010. France has already said it would be two years behind the first target but it still hopes to meet the 2010 deadline.

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