Veolia to produce biofuels

French water and waste management group Veolia will launch its first biodiesel plant in France in early 2009 using oil recycled from the restaurant trade.

The plant in Limay, near Paris, would be Veolia's first move in the biofuels industry, Laurent Bromet, head of biofuels at the group, says.

Bromet anticipates that recycled cooking oil could account in the future for 5-6% of biodiesel production in France.

The production site, in which Veolia has invested 25 million Euro's, will be supported by a partnership with French cooking oil manufacturer Lesieur to collect used oil from restaurants.

Veolia expects the new plant to produce 20,000 tonnes of biodiesel next year, en route to reaching its authorised capacity of 60,000 tonnes.

Most biodiesel in France is presently made from rapeseed with production led by Diester Industrie, which like Lesieur is owned by oilseed growers' financial arm Sofiproteol.

The plant would also use pure vegetable oil as well because of insufficient volume of recycled cooking oil. Approximately a third of French restaurants, which use over 70 million litres of cooking oil each year, currently recycle their used oil, Veolia and Lesieur state.

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