ePURE releases annual report on state of EU ethanol industry

By Erin Voegele | June 17, 2015

ePURE, the European renewable ethanol association, has released its annual 2015 State of the Industry Report, which illustrates that although the industry has faced a difficult year, there are reasons to be optimistic the situation will improve.

“Last year was a difficult year for the European ethanol industry. We had a situation whereby domestic prices collapsed by 30 percent, a damaging trend that was primarily driven by the uncertainty surrounding Europe’s biofuels policy. But the outlook is beginning to be more positive. This report shows that the European renewable ethanol has been a success story for Europe but it can contribute much more under the right policy conditions,” said Robert Wright, secretary general of ePURE.

“With the closure of the ILUC file it is now up to member states to implement Europe’s 2020 targets. The introduction of E10 fuel can help them in this task. The EU-wide roll out of E10 would reduce transport emissions by 15 million tonnes, the equivalent to taking 9 million cars of the road for 1 year. It would also reduce oil use in Europe’s transport sector by 50 million barrels,” Wright added.

According to ePURE, Europe produced 6.6 billion liters (1.74 billion gallons) of ethanol last year, up 13 percent from 2013. Capacity was 7.8 billion liters, with a utilization rate of 85 percent. Europe consumed more ethanol than was produced, with an estimated 2014 consumption level of 7.7 billion liters. Approximately 600 million liters of ethanol were imported, accounting for less than 10 percent of total consumption. Of the volume imported, 78 percent came from countries with duty-free access to the European market, with 22 percent of imports paying import duties. The majority, 85 percent, of ethanol was used in fuel, with 7 percent used in industrial applications, and 7 percent in food and beverages.

Regarding feedstock use, the report indicates the European ethanol industry processed 10.5 million metric tons of grain, or approximately 2 percent of the EU grain supply, along with 2.2 million metric tons of out-of-quota sugar, or 8 percent of the EU sugar supply. Corn was the top feedstock, with 42 percent, followed by wheat at 33 percent, sugar beet at 18 percent and other cereals at 7 percent. The industry produced an estimated 5.2 million metric tons of coproducts, 63 percent of which was high-protein, GMO-free animal feed.

Additional information is available on the ePURE website.