Greece looking to convert sugar plants to biofuel production

Greece is looking to make a major push into biofuels in the next few years. The intent is to support Greek Sugar farmers by making more use of the sugar beet crop in the country and divert about 50 percent of it from sugar production to biofuels. Because Greece is subject to European Union agricultural quotas they have to get EU approval to shift to two sugar plants over to biofuel production.

Combined, the two plants would produce up to 32 million gallons of ethanol annually from 80,000 metric tonnes of sugar beets, 53,000 tonnes of molasses and 265,000 tonnes of cereal grains. Ultimately, Greece wants to produce 43.3 million gallons of biodiesel and 105.7 million gallons of ethanol by 2010. In 2006, Greek biodiesel production amounted to 19.3 million gallons, almost half of the 2010 goal. The European Commission has set a goal for Greece to use biofuels for 5.75 percent of fuel consumption by 2010 and that is expected to rise to 10 percent by 2020.

[Source: USDA via GreenCarCongress]

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