Global News Summary
GLOBAL Over the weekend, China enacted a $585.5 billion stimulus package to b...
GLOBAL A group of eight biofuel producing countries have warned the EU that t...
GLOBAL The dollar gained ground on the euro following Barack Obama’s presiden...
GLOBAL The Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. notified term customers that it would c...
GLOBAL Crude oil is poised for its largest monthly drop since trading began i...
GLOBAL Soybeans will continue to be important to the world food supply, altho...
GLOBAL Oil fell to a new 17-month low below $62 a barrel on Monday, driven do...
GLOBAL Oil fell below $64 a barrel on Friday to new 16-month lows, as concern...
GLOBAL Oil prices fell below $70 Wednesday on worries about energy demand ami...
GLOBAL Crude oil rose on speculation that OPEC will cut production by 1 to 2 ...
News of the Day
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will examine biofuels at a high-level conference on food security in June, stating policies on biofuels need to be coordinated at an international level with the objective of fighting hunger. The global cost of imported foodstuffs this year is expected to be 21% higher than in 2006, and the highest on record, according to FAO. FAO is urging governments and the international community to implement immediate measures in support of poor countries hit hard by food price increases, including improving farmers' access to seeds and fertilizer to increase local crop production.
The US House gave final approval yesterday to an energy bill that mirrored the bill passed last week by the US Senate, including a renewable fuels RFS that would reach 36 billion gallons by 2022. The legislation is expected to be signed by the US president as early as today.
Oilsource Holding, LLC and Greenline Industries, LLC announced that they are partnering to develop a 60 million gallon plant in Miami, FL. The $96 million plant would be the largest biodiesel plant in the Southeast US.
New York's Premier Fresh Food and Grocery Delivery Service has signed a contract with Tri-State Biodiesel to begin converting its fleet to biodiesel. Beginning in January 2008, FreshDirect's 150 delivery trucks will start the switch to B5 fuel.
Shell Oil Co. says it will become the first major oil company to produce diesel fuel from marine algae. Shell plans to begin construction on a pilot plant in Hawaii immediately designed to produce 15 times as much oil for a given area as other biofuel crops due to the efficiency of algal photosynthesis.
Southeast Biofuels, a subsidiary of the Xethanol Corporation, has filed a $500,000 grant application with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to support construction of a $6 million demonstration plant to convert citrus waste into ethanol.
Biomass Gas & Electric LLC BG&E, based in Atlanta, plans to build a power plant in north or central Florida that will use waste wood products—such as yard trimmings, tree bark and wood knots from paper mills—to create electricity. According to the company, the plant would generate about 75 megawatts, or enough electricity to power 46,000 homes.
Standard Renewable Energy is suing Chevron Corp. for breach of contract, claiming Chevron has refused to continue investing in a biodiesel plant in Galveston, TX. Chevron denies the allegations. The suit comes after discussions broke down last week between San Ramon, CA-based Chevron and Houston, TX-based Standard Renewable Energy. The latter owns a majority stake in the plant and runs it through affiliate BioSelect Fuels.
Investments in production of biodiesel in Argentina have totaled some $300 million so far, according to IES Consultores. Argentine biodiesel exports have totaled $66.3 million so far in 2007, 13 times more than in 2006. Companies cited as interested in starting operation in the Argentine biodiesel market include Spanish-Argentine Repsol YPF and American-based Cargill.
Petrobras and its Alberto Pasqualini refinery subsidiary have started marketing 100 million gallons of biodiesel to Brazilian diesel distributors.
Celeres estimates Brazil will harvest more than 62 million mt of soybeans this season. The harvest begins in March.
At the 13th Southern Agricultural Council Regular Meeting held in Asunción Paraguay, ministers of agriculture and livestock from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay agreed to foster strategic alliances to allow technological development and research in biofuels.
Environmentalists are accusing the European Commission of setting weak standards for biofuels in the directive on renewable energy sources to be released on January 23rd, 2008, saying the directive fails to prevent biofuel farming activities from pushing further into rainforests and other eco-systems. Also commenting on the proposed directive, the European Oleochemicals and Allied Products Group and the European Chemical Industry Council say there ‘is no reason why the use of biomass for transport should receive tax incentives, whilst biomass use in chemicals is not subsidized.’
The European Parliament's Environment Committee has adopted a draft report amending its Fuel Quality Directive to introduce quality standards for biofuels and ensure that only those which meet sustainability criteria are used.
Poland's grain crop in 2007 rose to 27 million mt, up by 25 from last season, the Central Statistical Office said. This year's rapeseed harvest increased to 2.1 million mt, up 29%.
Although the German Social Democratic Party has proposed a biodiesel quota of 7% and a general exemption of public transportation and agriculture from the petroleum tax, the government did not take up the proposal and continues to pursue its course, which means a further reduction of tax relief for biofuels. According to German biofuel producer VERBIO, German producers will not be able to withstand competition from biofuels made elsewhere, notably Brazil. VERBIO says more than 50% of German biodiesel plants will have to shut down for good at the beginning of 2008.
ASIA / PACIFIC
India's state-run National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) will import around 4,000 mt of crude palm oil by January, a senior company official said. He added that NAFED will seek to import around 4,000-5,000 mt of palm oil every month for its own commercial purposes.
Cupertino-based AE Biofuels, Inc. announced completion of a 50 million gallons per year biodiesel facility connected by pipeline to the Port of Kakinada, India. The company says is has begun construction of an adjacent glycerin refinery.
Supply for biodiesel in South Korea is projected to outpace demand next year, with the volume expected to increase two-fold, industry sources said. They expect the ratio of diesel fuel blended with biodiesel to increase to 1% next year, compared with 0.5% this year, expanding the annual biodiesel market from the current 90,000 mt to 180,000 mt. Companies registered to produce biofuels have the capacity to produce 800,000 mt, more than four times the market size, portending a supply glut, industry experts say.
The Thai Cabinet approved a special charge on fuel sales to generate revenue for developing the nation's rail network. Collection of the levy on petrol and diesel will begin in January, and on the other fuels in October. In addition, oil companies will be required to collect an additional levy on biodiesel, diesel, gasohol, and gasoline starting this week to provide working capital for the fund.
China biodiesel producer Gushan Environmental Energy Ltd. has launched an 18 million share IPO in the US that began trading on NASDAQ today. Merrill Lynch is managing the launch.
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
A project aimed at producing oil feedstock from saline River Murray water has secured funding from the South Australian Government. Two teams at Flinders University will work on algae from the river, one extracting omega-3 oils and the other producing biodiesel.
Taupo and New Zealand will be the international stage for a move by the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport to switch to a biofuel mix--an ethanol based product sourced from sugar beets in Europe produced specifically for A1GP.
About World Energy