Biodiesel producer and European Biodiesel Board sued for false statements

The Norwegian biodiesel producer Uniol AS has established documentation which proves that parties representing the company’s competitors have  passed on false rumors and falsely accused Uniol of being involved in fraudulent actions with regard to custom tariffs and biodiesel origin.  To protect its business,  Uniol has now commenced legal proceedings to have these allegations retracted and to claim compensation for the damages the false statements have incurred.

Uniol says the company has documented that one of the key competitors; the German biodiesel producer Petrotec  as well as its director  Michael Fiedler-Panajotopoulos  and the lobby organization European Biodiesel Board ( EBB)  have all been involved in spreading  false allegations that Uniol produced and marketed biodiesel which was not of Norwegian origin.

Uniol says it has proof showing that these parties have been involved in communication of such allegations to Norwegian authorities, in contacts and meetings with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), in press releases and statements to media, as well as in EBB’s board documents and in communication to EBB’s member companies. Uniol vigorously denies that the company has been involved in alleged custom violation of EU regulations for production and sale of biodiesel.

To protect its reputation and business, Uniol has sent a formal notice of legal proceedings to the biodiesel producer Petrotec and to  the  lobby organisation EBB. A notice has also been sent to Mr. Fiedler-Panajotopoulos ,  Director Sales & Marketing of Petrotec  , who is also being an  executive board member of EBB.   Uniol intends to bring this case forward as a lawsuit at the local court Fredrikstad Tingrett in Norway.

“We believe the documentation in this case shows that the false statements have not only incurred negative effects on our operations, but the wrongful allegations about Uniol have also been communicated to our customers in what appears to be attempts to diminish Uniol’s position in the market. We initiate the legal proceedings not only to protect our business. We will also demonstrate that it is intolerable if the customers and consumers in Europe get less competition from biodiesel producers based on slandering Uniol and its biodiesel produced in Norway”, says Carl-Ivar Herskedal, President & CEO of Uniol AS.

On August 27th, the financial police in Norway opened an investigation against Uniol’s CEO with regards to alleged violations of customs procedures with regards to origin of produced biodiesel by the Uniol biodiesel plant in Norway. Despite that the company was not and is not part of this investigation; Uniol has fully cooperated with the police. Uniol fully stands behind its CEO and hopes the investigation will soon be concluded and dismissed.

“Public documents show that Petrotec, Mr. Fiedler-Panajotopoulos and EBB have been involved in contacting Norwegian authorities in order to imply that the biodiesel sold from Uniol to EU customers, was not produced in Norway. In this communication, the authorities have also been asked to investigate Uniol. We have strongly dismissed such allegations as baseless. We also believe that the investigation against our company’s CEO is a direct result of unlawful actions conducted by EBB, its member Petrotec Biodiesel AG and the executive board member of EBB appointed by Petrotec. Uniol can document that it has a very comprehensive and state of the art processing of raw material into biodiesel at Uniol’s plant” said Mr. Nicolas Boveroux, Corporate Council of the Luxemburg based Einer Energy Holding company, Uniol’s owner.

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Uniol AS, Øraveien 2, 1630 Gamle Fredrikstad, Norway. Tel.: +47 69 39 52 00

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