WASHINGTON, D.C. -- La Fabril, one of the largest producers of biodiesel from palm oil in the world and currently the largest exporter of biodiesel into the United States, said it is commercially producing a biodiesel product made from palm oil that has a sub-zero Celsius cloud point.

Palm oil has been widely recognized as being the premier feedstock for making biodiesel, according to a news release from La Fabril's marketing partner. The only negative that has been attributed to biodiesel made from palm oil has been its relatively high cloud point.

The new "Cold Flo Biodiesel" erases the negative. The product is not an additive, but a biodiesel fuel that meets ASTM 6751 in the U.S. and EN 14214 in the European Union. The cloud point (the point at which liquid starts to gel) of the palm biodiesel produced by La Fabril and others to date has typically been above 13 degrees Celsius. The "Cold Flo Biodiesel" has consistently been tested to -3 degrees Celsius, and is being sold with a guarantee of 0 degrees Celsius.

The biodiesel will be marketed by Biodiesel Energy Systems Inc., La Fabril's marketing partner for the United States and Europe. It will be sold to a variety of customers that will put it into transportation, marine, heating oil and power generation applications.

La Fabril has exported more than 10 million gallons of biodiesel to the United States in the past 12 months. The company currently has a production capacity of 36 million gallons per year and is completing a mid-refining addition that will allow it to expand to 100 million gallons per year. The company, based in Manta, Ecuador, is vertically integrated from palm plantations to the refinery. It has produced edible oil products from palm and other oils for more than 40 years.

"Our years and experience in vegetable oils together with our commitment to R&D and to being an innovative company has given us the ability to bring this breakthrough product to the market so fast," said Carlos Gonzalez, general manager and third-generation principal of La Fabril. "We hope to see Cold Flo Biodiesel recognized as the premier biodiesel in the world."

Biodiesel produced from palm fruit is interchangeable with petroleum diesel and has many superior qualities over biodiesel produced from other feedstock, such as its oxidation rate, BES said. Palm oil yields approximately 14 times more oil than soybean, which is more commonly used in the United States, and is much less expensive than rapeseed commonly used in Europe, BES said.

Biodiesel Energy Systems is a wholesale marketer of biodiesel. BES's product is interchangeable with petroleum diesel and meets both the U.S. ASTM 6751 standard as well as the European Union EN 14214.

Through its production partners, BES currently has a production capacity of approximately 10,000 metric tons or 3 million gallons of biodiesel per month. By May 2007, monthly production capacity is expected to reach approximately 27,500 MT or 8.3 million gallons. At this point, the facility will be the largest biodiesel plant in the Americas, with annual capacity of 330,000 metric tons (100 million gallons). While the BES production facilities are able to produce biodiesel from a variety of feedstock, the company is currently producing from palm oil.

SOURCE: Biodiesel Energy Systems Inc. via Business Wire.