“On 1 January this year, Germany introduced a greenhouse gas quota,” says Head of Investor Relations Olaf Tröber. “It means that oil companies are now obliged to reduce their CO2 emissions by 3.5% across their entire product portfolio through the use of biofuels. Before the quota, the requirement was based on volume, and CO2 values did not really matter. Now, every gram of CO2 that can be saved counts.”
VERBIO is the leading independent manufacturer of biofuels and the only producer in the market to offer all three types of alternative fuel: biodiesel, bioethanol and biomethane. Its biofuel refinery has been conceived for maximum sustainability and CO2 efficiency.
“We are interested in producing biofuels with maximum CO2 reduction potential, and therefore, we ensure that emissions are minimized throughout the whole value chain, including the production process,” says Mr. Tröber.
VERBIO achieves this through the use of closed loop technology and the whole crop. In this way it is able to substantially exceed the normal yield. Cutting greenhouse gas emissions is one of the key strategies in combatting climate change, and Germany has already implemented strict laws governing exactly how much CO2 biofuels may emit in relation to fossil fuels.
The 2011 German Biofuel Sustainability Directive set the limit at its current level of 35%, but this is due to rise to 50% by 2017. “VERBIO already exceeds these aims,” says Mr. Tröber. “verbiodiesel produces 62% less CO2 than conventional diesel, verbioethanol 80% and verbiogas up to 90%. But we are not stopping there. We are continuing to work to make our production processes more efficient so that we can continue to reduce emissions throughout the value chain.”
Biofuels are an important part of the green energy mix, but they are also a commodity like any other. “If producers can’t manufacture at competitive prices, then no one will buy their product,” says Mr. Tröber. “The production of conventional biofuels is not rocket science. But facing constantly razor-thin production margins, the capability to cope with highly volatile commodity prices and to take immediate corrective action on regulatory changes as well as substantial investments in R&D gives us a competitive advantage.”
VERBIO went public in 2006 with 28.9% of its shares in free float. It employs 495 people and generates annual turnover of between 650 and 700 million EUR. Its aim is to consolidate its strong position still further as one of Europe’s leading biofuel producers.