BioMCN, ED&F Man sign supply deal for Argentine glycerin

By Erin Voegele | April 12, 2012

Netherlands-based BioMCN has signed an agreement with commodity supplier ED&F Man for the sourcing, risk management and delivery of crude glycerin produced as a byproduct of biodiesel. The glycerin will be sourced from Argentina, one of the world’s top biodiesel-producing nations. According to the companies, under the agreement they will combine their mutual expertise in the area of sourcing crude glycerin and will act as one sourcing organization.

BioMCN converts crude glycerin into biobased methanol. The resulting biomethanol can be blended with gasoline or used as a feedstock in the production biobased methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE), methyl ester biodiesel and biobased dimethyl ether (DME). The chemical can also be used to produce plastic materials and paints.

“We are very pleased with this agreement with BioMCN, as we see BioMCN as an important player in the glycerin industry,” said  Arie van der Spek, trading director at ED&F Man. “We are proud to be chosen by BioMCN to source their crude glycerin and we look forward to our ongoing relationship with them. We are one of the leading providers of sugar, coffee, financial services and liquid products for feed, food or technical use, such as molasses and glycerin. In our chosen commodities we provide a comprehensive range of supply chain services from production, sourcing, storage, delivery to risk management. This agreement is therefore a perfect fit for both companies.”

BioMCN purchased two existing, adjacent methanol plants several years ago. While the formerly idle facilities were first designed to convert natural gas into methanol, BioMCN has retrofitted the site to produce biobased methanol via the conversion of crude glycerin. BioMCN currently has 200,000 metric tons of capacity online. A second stage of development, expected to be complete in 2013, will double that. Plans are also in the works to develop a separate facility that would take in woody biomass as feedstock to produce biobased methanol.

 “This agreement with ED&F Man is another important step in securing the supply of renewable feedstock,” said Rob Voncken, CEO of BioMCN. “We are particularly pleased with ED&F Man as partner, because of its strong position and broad experience in Latin America. Their expertise in shipping bulk products is a valuable addition to our business. Furthermore ED&F Man is ISCC-certified, meaning that we can demonstrate sustainability of our feedstock throughout the entire supply chain.”

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