SLOVAKIA reached the two percent share of bio-fuels on the total market amount of diesel and petrol, which the EU provisions oblige, as early as the first quarter of this year. Thus, Slovakia has become the first country within the V4 to use bio-component in the fuels in a complex way, the Hospodárske Noviny economic daily wrote.
The reason for the current interest in bio-fuels is rising oil prices, which increase the demand for cheaper fuels. Since 2001, Slovakia has increased the production of rape-colza for use in bio-fuels more than seven times.
"Due to the high price of oil, the methyl-ester of the rape-colza used in bio-fuels is interesting for the processor," Ladislav Maďar, the chairman of the Slovak Union of Oil-Plant Growers, said.
However, the use of bio-fuels in Slovakia is not huge, and together with other European countries, we are at the starting line.
"In recent years, Slovakia exported almost the whole production of bio-fuels to Germany, Austria," Maďar added.
Over the next three years, Slovakia must switch to almost six-percent share, and in another ten years to a ten-percent share, of bio-fuels on the market. But according to the Agriculture Ministry, Slovakia does not have the capacity to do so.
Annually, Slovakia exceeds the limit of a hundred thousand tonnes in the production of the methyl-ester of rape-colza. A new, more environmentally-friendly commodity thus has to become commonplace for the companies, which will decide on its use. Although the Slovnaft oil refinery has mixed esters with diesel since the middle of 2007, Slovakia still slightly lags behind in production of bio-ethanol as the basic raw material for the ethers used for petrol.
18. Feb 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press report