First Irish biodiesel produced
Running at 80% of capacity GBIL has so far produced around 1,600 metric tonnes of biodiesel
15 October 2008
Completed in June this year, Ireland’s first ever commercial scale biodiesel processing plant began production this August. The plant, which is located at Marshmeadows in New Ross, Co Wexford, and is operated by Green Biofuels Ireland Ltd (GBIL), has so far produced 1,600 metric tonnes of biodiesel.
Operations officer at the facility, Joe Byrne says that the plant is currently operating at 80% capacity and should be fully functioning by November of this year. The plant has the capacity to produce 34 million litres (approx 8 million gallons) per year.
According to GBIL, the company was incorporated in 2004 “to capitalise on the growing demand for biodiesel in Ireland.” GBIL says its multi feedstock facility poses “an opportunity for rural communities to diversify into the growing of energy crops,” although for the moment it is operating mainly on yellow grease and tallow.
Waste oils are cheaper than virgin oils and sidestep the contentious food versus fuel debate, explains Byrne. The raw materials will be sourced principally from the company’s shareholders, which include existing RVO (recycled vegetable oil) handlers, as well as the Wexford Farmer’s Co-op, which has 4,000 farmer shareholders.
Ireland is moving to a biofuel obligation, set down in the recent Bioenergy Action Plan from the Government’s Energy policy Framework 2007 – 2020, with a target of 5.75% market penetration by 2010 and 10% by 2020.
GBIL says its New Ross plant will play a major role in meeting the demand requirements and its output will displace 140,000 tonnes of CO2, or the equivalent of removing almost 25,000 vehicles from the roads per annum.