Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) have a substantial biomass production and export potential. The objective of this study is to assess whether the market for biofuels and trade can be profitable enough to realize a supply of biofuels from the CEEC to the European market and to estimate the cost performance of the energy carriers delivered. Five NUTS-2 (Nomenclature d'Unités Territoriales Statistiques) regions with high biomass production potentials in Poland, Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic were analysed for biofuel export options. From these regions pellets from willow can be provided to destination areas in Western European countries (WEC) at costs of 105.2–219.8 € t−1. Ethanol can be provided at 11.95–20.89 € per GJ if the biomass conversion is performed at the destination areas in the WEC or at 14.84–17.83 € GJ−1J if the biomass to ethanol conversion takes place (at small scale) at the CEEC region where the biomass is produced. Short sea shipping shows most cost advantages for longer distance international transport compared to inland waterway shipping and railway. Another reason for lower biofuel supply costs are shorter distances between the regions of biomass production and the destination areas. Therefore the Szczecin region in Poland, closely located to the Baltic Sea, shows a better economic performance for long distance trade of biomass production than the selected region in Hungary (‘land-locked’). It is concluded that in future key CEEC regions can supply (pre-treated) biomass and biofuels to the European market at cost levels, which are sound and attractive to current and expected diesel and gasoline prices.
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