Bunge, Sofiproteol to Review Joint Biodiesel Venture

sofiproteol-bungeTwo agribusiness giants from each side of the Atlantic are considering their joint biodiesel venture. U.S.-based Bunge and Europe’s Sofiproteol are reviewing their operation in Europe, according to this Reuters story, as the two look to cut overproduction while demand is weak for the green fuel.

Sofiproteol, owner of the European Union’s biggest biodiesel maker, Diester Industrie, and Bunge have a 60-40 percent deal in a spinoff called Diester Industrie International (DII), which controls plants in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Austria.

“Our wish is to cut our risks and exposure on biodiesel,” Sofiproteol CEO Jean-Philippe Puig told Reuters in an interview.

“They (Bunge) are mainly present in Northern Europe and we are in France and southern Europe. So there are a number of talks going on with them,” he said.

According to Reuters, Bunge wasn’t commenting on the story. But DII stopped production a year ago at its Livorno, Italy, facility and does not plan to restart it. The weak biodiesel sector in Europe has been caused by cheap Argentine and Indonesian imports, and the European biodiesel market has been even further threatened by a change in EU policy that aims to limit the use of oilseeds in fuels.

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