Colombia 2017 | GREEN ECONOMY | COLUMN

TBY talks to Dr. Jorge Bendeck Olivella, Executive President, National Biofuel Federation (Fedecombustibles) on the sector.

Dr. Jorge Bendeck Olivella

How has government legislation shaped the biofuels industry in Colombia?

In the case of the biofuel industry, we were informed of our goals and what we were expected to achieve by 2020. This industry is not shaped by the market but rather controlled by the government because it is a strategic sector that produces fuels. For example, every month the government establishes the blending percentage for ethanol, gasoline, and biodiesel. Additionally, the government determines the prices. Thus, we as producers receive a fee to transform the raw material into biofuels. However, we purchase the raw materials based on market prices.

What strategic benefits does the biofuels industry bring to Colombia?

The biofuel industry was originally founded with three main goals in mind. One is to reduce contaminants in the outer atmosphere. In 2009, the cost of these air contaminants to Colombia was 5,000 deaths and USD1 billion. By blending traditional fuels with biofuels, we can reduce harmful emissions by half. Furthermore, according to our analyses, by using biofuels we are reducing the equivalent of nearly 2.3 million tons of CO2, a truly astounding figure.