Crystal Chemicals, the Velingrad-based chemicals company, said it will start the production of biodiesel near the Macedonian city of Tetovo over the next couple of months, doubling annual output capacity to 80,000 tons.
The capacity boost will not require significant investment because of the necessary equipment is already in place.
Crystal Chemicals will launch the project in Macedonia because the neighbouring country levies on excise on biodiesel fuel.
The company supplies biodiesel to small filling station chains like Litex, Tempo, Pe-Gaz, Petrocom and Petrogaz and exports to Albania and Serbia. The biodiesel producer will promptly start shipping 1,000 tons monthly to Romania.
A bio ethanol installation should become operational on the Crystal Chemicals production site in Svilengrad within months. The company invested 2.5 mln euro in the installation with an annual capacity of 10,000 tons. For the moment, the management is awaiting legislative changes that will exempt from tax the bio component in mineral fuels.
Crystal Chemicals is one of several Bulgarian companies developing bio fuel refineries.
Eko Petroleum should launch a biodiesel refinery in Vidin by the end of 2007. The facility will have an annual capacity of 0.1 mln tons.
A Bulmarket refinery with an annual capacity of 0.06 mln tons should become operation in Ruse this year.
Also in 2007, Sunny Rays will complete a refinery in Provadia with an annual capacity of 0.1 mln tons.
News agency Reuters estimates the refinery projects nearing completion will bring Bulgaria's biodiesel production capacity to 0.3 mln tons annually