17 January 2013 – Belgian green energy company Electrawinds has started producing biodiesel from animal waste fats at a biodiesel factory in the Netherlands that it took over in April 2012. The biodiesel factory in Sluiskil dates back to 2008 and except for a short start-up period it was never operational. The industrial site has direct access to the Ghent-Terneuzen canal and has a storage capacity of up to 25,000 tonnes at its disposal. Following its takeover by Electrawinds, the production process has been renewed and adjusted to manufacture so-called 2nd generation biodiesel (biodiesel derived from waste streams) under the new name of Electrawinds GreenFuel.
Electrawinds has extensive experience with such raw materials. Since 2005, the energy company has invested in three biofuel plants generating electricity from type CAT I animal waste products. These waste fats can no longer be used for consumption, so they are first refined and then used as fuel to produce energy.
Once the biodiesel factory is operating at full capacity, it will be possible to produce an amount of up to 250,000 tonnes. Luc Desender, CEO, Electrawinds, says, "Producing renewable energy continues to be our core business but we have now made the strategic choice to also manufacture biofuel for transport. Depending on market circumstances, we can now switch between power and/or biodiesel production."
Electrawinds was established as a family business in 1998, grew into one of the Belgian reference companies in the cleantech sector and is now operating in various countries in Europe and in Africa.