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BIOPETROL: New coalition government raises hope for Biodiesel
Investors and employees in the biodiesel industry now expect the new government in Germany to honour its election promises and return to a reliable political and economic framework which would make possible a sustainable contribution towards climate protection , by plants working continuously at full capacity and jobs being secured long term.
The previous policy resulted in biodiesel, instead of receiving tax concessions as initially promised, actually being hampered. According to the Report on Tax Concessions for Biofuels the economic disadvantage for biodiesel producers in 2008 alone was almost 10 cents per litre. As a result several producers in Germany either struggled to survive or completely disappeared from the market.
Now the abundance of virtually identical statements in the last days before the election has raised hopes of a change in direction in biofuel policy under the new government.
-Chancellor A. Merkel stated in an interview with Wirtschaftswoche that "on the 27 September (the date of the election) it is essentially about releasing for the time after the financial and economic crisis the maximum drivers of growth, because growth creates jobs. ... I will also stand in the next legislative period by the EEG (Renewable Energy Act). We have seen with biofuels how even slight changes in conditions throw whole economic sectors off track. ... It would be a mistake, however, if we lose contact with these future technologies and therefore also miss out on the associated export opportunities and sustainable jobs."
-The future of the energy supply industry is for the CDU "one of the vital global tasks" (K.-T. zu Guttenberg, German Economy Minister, in boersen-zeitung.de) and for the FDP "of crucial importance for our modern economy. "Cheap and sustainably produced energy has to be reliably available long term. We have to free ourselves from dependence on fossil fuels for economic and for environmental reasons" (H. O. Solms FDP Minister candidate, in boersen-zeitung.de)
-"The current under-compensation, that is to say the insufficient support of pure biofuel, requires appropriate correction and adjustment of the tax concession", stresses the spokesperson of the FDP Bundestag faction for renewable raw materials, Ch. Happach-Kasan in press release no. 967 of the FDP faction in the German Bundestag. In this press release it is also stated that "the government has also lost sight that, when looked at overall, there are very good reasons for supporting the production of biodiesel."
-And in the CDU faction, for whom the CDU/CSU Bundestag faction's spokesperson for renewable energies in the Environment Committee, M. Flachsbarth, comments, with regard to the issue of reliability of political statements, that "reliable frameworks are required for economic investment in renewable energies ... I consider it a must to take up this issue (of biodiesel support) again after the election."
-The CDU's General Secretary R. Pofalla also commented in agrarheute.com that "renewable energies provide great opportunities with regard to environmentally and climate-friendly growth, innovative business, job creation and adding value in rural areas.... We want to set reliable levels of taxation taking into account the development in oil prices in such a way that domestic production of biofuels remains competitive."
The strategy of using economies of scale and investing in technologically and logistically first-class production plants has made possible the survival of the BIOPETROL Group. With the financial restructuring in the spring of this year the economic consequences of the old government's failed energy policy were shaken off and the foundations for the successful continuation of the BIOPETROL Group were laid. The pre-election promises of the CDU/CSU and the FDP give cause for hope that a change in direction towards investment-friendly conditions for the biodiesel industry in Germany is imminent. This change in direction is - as the current Report on Tax Concessions for Transport and Heating Biofuels 2008 proves - necessary for the biofuel industry in Germany, and with it BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG, to have a fair chance in international competition once again.
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