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Aemetis upgrades India biofuel plant for distilled biodiesel production

US firm commissions distilled biodiesel production unit at Kakinada facility in Andhra Pradesh to meet European Union standards

 biodiesel plant
Aemetis said the Indian plant is equipped with advanced technology to meet the highest standards for biodiesel production worldwide

US advanced fuels and renewable chemicals company Aemetis has upgraded its Indian biofuel plant to produce distilled biodiesel in India. Aemetis, which is based in California, has commissioned the biodiesel distillation unit at its production facility at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh.

The company claims the plant is one of the only plants in Asia capable of producing large supplies of biodiesel to meet European Union standards, Aemetis said.

Sanjeev Gupta, managing director of Aemetis’ subsidiary, Universal Biofuels, said: “The new distillation production unit is fully commissioned and the Indian facility now produces biodiesel meeting or exceeding the highest standards for biodiesel quality worldwide.”

The Aemetis plant, which was built in 2008, produces 50 million gallons of biodiesel each year and caters for the biofuel, pharmaceutical, and industrial markets. Aemetis said the plant is equipped with advanced technology to produce distilled biodiesel and refined glycerine, using large volumes of low-cost, non-food by-products from the edible oil industry.

Eric McAfee, Aemetis CEO, said the plant upgrade will allow the firm to increase its production to supply biodiesel to India. The plant will also produce and deliver distilled biodiesel worth USD 20m to its European customers.

“The completion of this biodiesel distillation unit allows Aemetis to significantly expand our production levels in order to supply European and India biodiesel customers,” McAfee said.

“Using lower-cost by-products from the edible oils industry, the Aemetis biodiesel plant in India now has among the lowest cost and highest quality of any biodiesel produced,” he added.

McAfee also said anti-dumping tariffs have led to India becoming one of the only remaining low-cost biodiesel suppliers to Europe.

“Recently, the European Union adopted five-year, anti-dumping tariffs against Argentina and Indonesia due to large subsidies provided to their local producers,” he said. “Since an anti-dumping tariff already exists against US biodiesel imports, European fuel customers are now focused on Malaysia and India as the remaining low-cost biodiesel suppliers to Europe.”

The news from Aemetis follows US technology firm World Health Energy working to develop India’s biodiesel sector. The company announced an alliance, in April 2012, with India’s transport company Prime to construct a biodiesel production facility, fuelled by algae.