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Good news for green chemistry in new EU industrial policy

Press Release   •   Jan 23, 2014 08:03 EST

For the first time, access to bio-based raw materials is highlighted as a priority
issue for industrial development in European Commission’s new communication.
Since the high import duty on bio-ethanol is one of the biggest barriers to
growth of bio-based chemistry in Europe, SEKAB welcomes this and looks forward
to hearing what measures will be taken to improve the situation.

On 22 January, the European Commission published its new communication
on industrial policy ”For A European Industrial Renaissance”.
The Commission urges member states to recognize the central role of industry
 in creating jobs and growth, and also points to a number of challenges to the
 industry’s development. Access to bio-based raw materials at world market
prices is pointed out as one of four prioritised areas for the future
competitiveness of European industry.

“This is our most important issue for the future”, says Anders Fredriksson, CEO
at SEKAB, ”Even if our vision in the long terms is to use domestic raw materials,
 for example from forests, we are entirely dependent on imported ethanol in the
short and medium terms to develop our bio-based production.”

Currently, European companies pay the equivalent of a 50 percent duty on
imported bio-ethanol, whilst competitors in other parts of the world pay duties
of a couple percent at most. For this reason, bio-based production is growing
in other parts of the world, but struggling to take off in Europe.

"Under the current customs regime, companies in countries like
China or Brazil have an enormous advantage. So we are very pleased, and have
also written to president Barroso to ask what concrete measures the Commission
will propose now”, says Ylwa Alwarsdotter, Vice President at SKEAB, who has
followed the issue for some time.

”We are very pleased the Commission recognizes the potential of our
industry to contribute to growth, if only we are given access to raw material”,
says Urban Svensson, Director Global Procurement at Perstorp AB.

Ylwa Alwarsdotter, Vice, SEKAB
Tel: + 46 (0)70-398 03 02

Kristina Nilsson, Communications manager, SEKAB
Tel: +46 (0)70-274 99 01


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Society is facing a huge challenge in replacing old energy sources with new ones. SEKAB seeks to play its part in the transition to a future with a reduced demand for fossil fuels and raw materials. We will achieve this through the ethanol we produce and import, turning it into biofuels in various forms and green chemicals.

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