At the National Biodiesel Boards annual Biodiesel Summit in Las Vegas, NBB CEO Joe Jobe projected that US biodiesel production will exceed 1.5 billion gallons for 2013, well over the EPA’s 1.28 billion gallon mandate.
Under RFS2 rules, biodiesel can qualify not only in the biomass-based diesel category — but for the advanced biofuels pool where each gallon, with its higher energy density, counts for 1.5 gallons of ethanol-equivalent fuel. Accordingly, the projected overproduction will count the same as 408 million gallons of ethanol towards the Renewable Fuel Standard mandates for 2013, as proposed by the EPA last week in Washington.
The overproduction contrasted sharply with the outlook provided by Chevron policy executive VP Rhonda Zygocki, who said at a Commonwealth Club meet-up in San Francisco this week that, after examining more than 100 feedstocks and 50 processing technologies, the company had concluded that the only way it could meet its near-term obligations under RFS2 was to import Brazilian sugarcane ethanol.
Although reports based on the remarks did not specify a time frame, sources near the company placed Chevron’s concerns as especially focused on the 2015-2018 period, when RFS2 targets will increase substantially for next-gen biofuels — faster, in the company;s view, than feedstocks and biorefining capacity can be brought online.