Mannheim, 04. April 2008 ? The CropEnergies AG, Mannheim, expects that the bioethanol market in Germany and Europe will continue to grow despite the announcement of German Federal Environmental Minister Sigmar Gabriel, to defer for now the increase of the amount of bioethanol allowed in gasoline from 5 vol.-% to 10 vol.-% (E10)..
The legally tied down blending quotas for Germany are not influenced by the decision.
Dr. Lutz Guderjahn, COO of CropEnergies AG: ?Today, the advantages of bioethanol as a fuel are more important than ever. Being more independent of energy imports as well as the reduction of CO2-emissions are the primary focuses. We regret that the planned increase of the bioethanol percentage allowed does not seem possible at the moment due to possible technical problems.?
At this time, gasoline can contain up to 5 vol.-% bioethanol. However, higher bioethanol percentages are already possible today, for example by using ETBE (ethyl tertiary butyl ether). Gasoline can contain up to 15% of this octane booster, which consists of approx. 50% bioethanol. However, CropEnergies expects that the increase of the allowed blending percentages will take place at a later point in time within the framework of the European legislative initiative to chance the current Fuel Quality Directive.
CropEnergies is assured in its plans for expansion which were based on the current fuel standard, which allows a blending of 5 vol.-% bioethanol to gasoline. The expansion of the capacity to an annual capacity of over 700,000 m³ bioethanol in the business year 2009/10 is going as planned. In Zeitz, the expansion from 260,000 m³ bioethanol per year to 360,000 m³ bioethanol per year will be completed in spring 2008. In Wanze, Belgium, CropEnergies is building a plant with a capacity of up to 300.000 m³ bioethanol per year which will start running at the end of 2008. In addition to this, production capacities in France belonging to the Südzucker Group are to be integrated into the CropEnergies Group in 2008. CropEnergies will thus further strengthen its position as a leading bioethanol producer in Europe.
All production plants of CropEnergies AG will fulfil the requirement of the EU Commission, which demands a minimum savings of greenhouse gas emissions of 35% in the Renewable Fuels Directive.
The CropEnergies AG
The CropEnergies Group - a member of the Südzucker Group - is an established leading European producer of bioethanol for the fuel sector.
Crop stands for creative regeneration of power. Energy in the form of bioethanol is produced from renewable resources, grain and sugar beets. With subsidiaries in Germany, France, and Belgium, CropEnergies has established itself as a bioethanol producer in a growing market in just a few years and it operates todays largest bioethanol plant in Europe in Zeitz, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. CropEnergies considers itself a pioneer on the German bioethanol market and expands its market position in Europe. The shares of CropEnergies AG (ISIN DE000A0LAUP1) are listed in the Prime Standard at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.