The Government of Greece plans produce 160 million liters (ML) (42.3 million gallons US) of biodiesel and 400 ML (105.7 million gallons US) of bioethanol annually by 2010, according to a report by the USDA.
The Greek Ministry of Agriculture will ask the European Commission for permission to convert two of Greece’s five existing sugar plants into bioethanol production facilities. If approved, Greece would dedicate some 50% of its current EU quota for sugar beet to meet the demand created by these two plants. The objective is to support the Hellenic Sugar Industry and sugar beet producers by giving them the option to continue cultivation of the crop.
At full production these two plants would have a total output of 120 ML (31.7 million gallons US) of bioethanol. Some 80,000 metric tons of sugar beets will be needed, along with 53,000 metric tons of molasses (also from beets), and 265,000 metric tons of cereals.
Currently, there are four biodiesel plants in operation in Greece, with another six to come onstream in the next three years. The largest, due to enter production in 2008, will have an annual capacity of 50 million liters (13.2 million gallons US). Total biodiesel production in 2006 was about 73 million liters (19.3 million gallons US).
Greece has a biofuel target provided by the European Commission of 5.75% of total fuel consumption by 2010, which may increase to 10% by 2020 based on EC action this Spring. (Earlier post.) USDA estimates that Greece could produce only about a third of the raw materials needed to meet even the lower 5.75% level of biofuel production—i.e., imports will be necessary.