In the context of the First Biofuels Congress of the Americas, which took place in Buenos Aires last Thursday and Friday and we covered here, Repsol YPF (the company resulting from Repsol’s acquisition of the Argentine State oil company) launched the first biodiesel available in Buenos Aires gas stations: GasoilBio. Even though it might be a step in the right direction for the country, it’s far from perfect: the fuel is composed with almost 99% traditional diesel and only 1,4% biodiesel, not produced locally but imported. According to the company, their idea is to use local, but the plants installed in the country didn’t match their standards. Repsol YPF’s GasoilBio costs 25% more than normal (1,90 against 1,45 pesos; which equal 0,64 and 0,48 US dollars respectively) and hit the industry with surprise, since a similar launch by Shell last September caused strong official reaction and was banned because it was considered an under-covered price raise (gas prices -and many other products’- have been controlled by the government in Argentina due to an increasing inflation). But according to Repsol executives, this will not meet the same faith, as it’s an alternative product and will not substitute regular diesel. Plus, they have an authorization by the government. The company is planning to sell 80 thousand liters of biodiesel a year, against the seven millions they sell from regular one. GasoilBio is sold in only two stations so far: one located in Figueroa Alcorta and Echeverria streets (Buenos Aires city) and the other one, in Libertador and Melo streets (Vicente Lopez, a Buenos Aires suburb). But it will get to 30 stations.
Biofuels are getting a lot of attention these days in Argentina, from enthusiasts and also from detractors. See some of the discussion going on here and the recently approved law here. :: Repsol's GasoilBio Launch story :: Repsol YPF GasoilBio site