The crossroads of the national biodiesel
To avoid anguish, it is necessary to improve coordination within the Intersectoral Committee and strengthen the supply chain of the sector.
The country produced the first gallon of biodiesel at a plant located in Codazzi, Cesar department, in January 2008. Since then, the biodiesel agribusiness chain has invested 3.000 billion dollars to meet the objectives of environmental sustainability, diversification of the Energy matrix, rural development and employment generation in the Colombian palm sector. The national biodiesel energy agribusiness also contributes to the substantial reduction of the carbon footprint, greenhouse gases, emission of particulate matter and opacity of engine fumes.
Despite the obvious benefits of biodiesel for an economy like ours, the current situation is certainly critical, generated by a confluence of negative factors of perfect storm, which require an objective diagnosis and long-term comprehensive solutions.
The short-term crisis in the supply of biodiesel, which has several plants off, is due to regulatory lags in terms of defining official prices for the producer in charge of the Ministries of Finance and Energy, which do not immediately factor in changing market conditions of reference of palm and soybean oils, nor do they adequately remunerate biodiesel producers; transport and logistics cost overruns generated by the closure of the Bogotá-Villavicencio highway; the decrease in imports of Ecuadorian palm oil linked to the rot of the bud; the seasonal decline in palm production in the second half; bonds paid by the local food industry to guarantee palm provision; compliance with palm oil export contracts; the entry into force, with delay and without gradualness, of the national palm biodiesel mix of 12%, initially scheduled from August XNUMX.
As a result of the foregoing, representatives of biodiesel producers, the palm sector and wholesale distributors expressed "difficulties" in complying with this biodiesel blending mandate, as can be seen from the recitals of the Resolution of the Ministries of Agriculture and de Energía No. 4-0730 of September 20, 20.
For this reason, the Intersectoral Committee for the Management of Biofuels recommended granting a period of time to recover depleted inventories and guarantee the availability of biodiesel for the local market, by gradually adjusting the biodiesel mix with 2% fossil fuel for the last 10 days of the month of September and the restoration of the mixture to 6% in October, 8% in November and 10% from the month of December.
In order to avoid new existential distresses, it is necessary to improve public-private consultation within the Intersectoral Committee, timely issue of biodiesel mix and price provisions and strengthen the supply chain for palm, biodiesel and wholesale distributors, through stable contracts with recognition of quality, price and environmental sustainability.
Andrés Espinosa Fenwarth
Member of the ICP Board of Directors.