|China is the world’s top producer of rapeseed. Click to enlarge.|
Austrian biofuel company Biolux Biofuels has begun construction on a wholly-owned biodiesel plant in Nantong City in east China’s Jiangsu Province. The €120-million project—the largest Austrian agrarian investment yet in China—will have an annual capacity of 300,000 tonnes (90.6 million gallons US) of biodiesel produced from 800,000 tonnes of rapeseed.
The plant, which will be able to use multiple vegetable oils as feedstocks, is due to be completed in 2007.
China is the world’s largest producer of rapeseed, with 11.4 million tonnes of output in 2003 according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Canada, the world’s second-largest producer, yielded 6.7 million tonnes that year. Biolux is viewing the new plant as a source for exports to meet growing European demand for biodiesel, in addition to the domestic China market.
Nantong as a production location is ideal for us. The raw materials can be delivered directly by ship and the entrance to the open sea enables us to market our products globally.—Veit Schalle, Chairman Biolux Board
Domestic European production of vegetable and seed oils for biodiesel feedstock will meet only about one-third of the projected need determined by biofuel targets. The balance will be imported.