Port of Rotterdam reports increase in throughput of biofuels

The largest port in Europe, the Port of Rotterdam, has announced an increase in the throughput of biofuels through the port over the past year.

The total throughput volume rose to 4.8 million tonnes – an increase of over 6% compared to 2015.

The strongest growth in the past year was recorded in the biodiesel segment, which increased by 23% to 3.5 million tonnes. The port handled 1.1 million tonnes of ethanol, and Rotterdam’s ETBE throughput totalled 300,000 tonnes. Rotterdam is by far the largest port in Europe for the import, export, trading and pricing of biodiesel and ethanol.

Biodiesel is the leading product category in this group. Half of the supply entering Rotterdam comes from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Biodiesel is a combination of renewable diesel and methyl esters.

Another major country of origin is Spain, which accounts for close to 25% of the supplied biodiesel. The premier EU destination for biofuels is Sweden, which receives close to 19% of the outbound shipments.

The modest decrease in the throughput of ethanol may be a consequence of the continuing development of the intra-European market for ethanol, which has led to reduced imports from non-European suppliers.

The ethanol that arrives from overseas mainly originates in the UK (13%), Peru and the US (both 12%), Venezuela (11%) and Sweden and Guatemala (both 10%). The main export destinations in 2016 were the UK (55%) and Sweden (18%).

This story was written by Liz Gyekye, editor of Biofuels International.

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