Global News Summary
WEDNESDAY EDITION July 28, 2010 Volume 6 Issue 78 Global BP REPORTE...
WEDNESDAY EDITION July 21, 2010 Volume 6 Issue 75 Global GOLDMAN SA...
FRIDAY EDITION July 16, 2010 Volume 6 Issue 73 North America DEMOCR...
WEDNESDAY EDITION July 14, 2010 Volume 6 Issue 72 Global OILEASES B...
North America MASSACHUSETTS SUSPENDS BIODIESEL MANDATE Massachusetts has s...
WEDNESDAY EDITION June 23, 2010 Volume 6 Issue 66 Global OIL FALLS ...
North America NO CLEAR ANSWERS ON ENERGY LEGISLATION YET Senate Majority L...
North America BP ATTEMPTS AGAIN TO SHUT GULF OIL WELL BP’s planned attempt ...
North America ASA: SOY BIODIESEL CAN FULFILL RFS WITHOUT NEGATIVE IMPACTS...
North America EPA TO BEGIN ANALYSIS OF PROPOSED CLIMATE BILL The US EPA wil...
Global biofuel industry revenue hit $20.5 billion in 2006 and is set to reach $80.9 billion by 2016, according to US research firm Clean Edge.
Creamers Engineering News reports that colony collapse disorder, a disease affecting bees, is threatening food security and biofuel production worldwide. Since the end of 2006, beekeepers in the US, Europe, Canada, South America, Central America and Asia have reported honeybee colony losses of between 30% and 90%. The loss of bee colonies would affect the production of biofuels if there are fewer bees to pollinate oil seed crops such as sunflower, canola, soy bean, rapeseed and safflower.
Top executives of British Petroleum and General Motors have outlined their visions for the future of renewable energy, saying hydrogen will likely fuel the cars of the future, although it could take 50 years to get there. Until then, each company will pursue different strategies for developing new energy sources. Their comments kicked off the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference, a global meeting of energy officials organized by the US State Department.
In Wisconsin, Innovation Fuels announced acquisition of North American Biodiesel, including the company's tank storage leases at the Port of Milwaukee and petroleum pipeline access. Innovation Fuels also announced it is the first Northeast-based biofuels producer to receive BQ-9000 Accreditation.
Arkansas SoyEnergy Group has opened a 4 million bushel soy crusher in DeWitt with capacity to produce 4.5 million gallons of soy oil for the company's biodiesel operation. When fully operational, the company's biodiesel plant will have a capacity of 7 million gallons per year.
The USDA and US DOE will invest up to $18.4 million over three years in 21 biomass research and development and demonstration projects for production of bio-based products and biofuels, the Department of Agriculture said. The projects aim to address critical barriers to making production of biomass more efficient and cost-effective, and will require the recipients to raise 20% matching funds for development and 50% for demonstration projects.
Flush with cash amid record crude prices, oil companies are looking at buying US ethanol distilleries, a Credit Suisse banker said in a Reuters interview on Tuesday. Oil companies "have stronger balance sheets than any of the ethanol companies themselves," said Paul Ho, director of the global energy group at Credit Suisse First Boston in New York. Last year's energy law that requires a five-fold increase in blending of biofuels into gasoline by 2022 may make US ethanol distilleries more attractive. Ho said he expected deals to occur within a year to 18 months. He added that some agricultural and industrial companies may also be looking to buy ethanol distilleries.
The US is not expected to make enough cellulosic fuel to meet Congress' mandate for 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels a year by 2022, the head of the federal Energy Information Administration told a Senate Energy Committee hearing on long-term US energy supply and demand. He said only 32.5 billion gallons would be achieved by that date, requiring the government to issue waivers on the mandate.
Henderson, NV-based Energy Quest said it will enter into a joint venture with Chile’s Etanol Del Pacifico Sur for construction of a $32 million, 8 million gallon per year ethanol plant in Las Cabras, with Energy Quest holding a 60% stake and Etanol Del Pacifico Sur, a corn farmers association, holding 40%.
An economic stimulus package set to be presented to Chile's Congress by the Finance Ministry would grant state development agency Corfo $5 million in 2008 to invest in development of biofuels in Chile. The package would reduce taxes on gasoline, and provide incentives for the importation of hybrid cars.
Petrobras says it is setting up a separate unit for ethanol and biodiesel, aiming to invest $1.5 billion in biofuel activities by 2012. At present, biofuel activities are run by various units of the company, which complicates management. The company has set a goal of becoming the largest producer of biodiesel in the country.
Brazil and Argentina will harvest a combined 106 million mt soy crop in the 2007-08 season, according to agribusiness consultancy Celeres. Argentina should harvest 47 million mt of soybeans, down 3% from the previous season. Brazil should harvest around 59 million tons, up 0.8% on the year.
EU Environment Ministers have broadly backed EU Commission plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions by at least 20% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, increase the share of renewable fuels in power production to 20%, and increase the share of biofuels in transport fuel to 10%. But several member states said more clarity was needed on whether biofuels are produced in a sustainable way, and asked for further investigations into the advantages of second generation bio-fuels.
In a letter to the Financial Times, the head of D1 Oils says that biofuels are not the key driver for food prices. Only 4% of global coarse grain production currently goes to ethanol and the figure is similar for vegetable oils going to bio-diesel, he writes. The real pressure on food prices is from short-term supply constraints and increased demand from more prosperous populations in the developing world. But “the temptation to see food supply as a binary choice of food versus fuel appears overwhelming,” he says.
Foreign Affairs reports that Portugal’s first biofuel plant is being built in Sines by Portuguese producer GreenCyber at an estimated cost of $85 million; $29 million more will be used to buy raw materials from Brazil, Mozambique and Angola.
ASIA / PACIFIC
A record-breaking rally for Asian vegetable oil markets was brought to an abrupt halt yesterday by indications that China could intervene to curb rising prices. Malaysian palm oil futures saw their largest fall in nine months, with Chicago soy oil and Indian soybean oil also caught in the sell-off. Traders and industry officials said Beijing was planning to release soy oil stocks after massive gains in Chinese futures prices. Even after Tuesday's losses, Dalian and Chicago soy oil and Malaysian palm oil prices have gained more than a third this year and hit successive record highs.
Finnish oil refiner Neste Oil has reiterated its commitment to build the world's largest biodiesel plant in Singapore at a cost of $1.2 billion. Also in Singapore, Australia's Natural Fuel says is has recently switched its feedstock from palm oil to jatropha oil.
Carbon Capital of Malaysia will invest $60 million in renewable energy projects in Sarawak, including a 10 megawatt power plant using palm fruit waste and four ethanol plants. The company has previously announced a $600 million joint venture with Japan Carbon Mercantile for jatropha and palm cultivation in Sarawak.
With Indian rapeseed production expected to fall by over 15% this year to 5.09 million mt because of cold weather, the President of the Central Organization of Oil Industries and Trade predicts an edible oils food crisis due to crop loss and diversion for biofuels.
The National Biofuel Development Committee of Indonesia has asked the government for a tax cut for biodiesel producers to encourage the industry in a period of high palm oil prices. The committee said the tax cut should be a reduction in the value-added tax.
Some Indonesian companies are halting or amending plans to make biodiesel, saying palm oil’s surge to record highs are making projects unviable. Sinar Mas and China National Offshore Oil have halted a $5.9 billion biofuels plan. PT Bakrie Sumatera Plantations is ''redesigning'' its biodiesel project. Alhilal Hamdi, head of Indonesia's National Team on Biofuel said, ''Crude palm oil is very expensive now. It's impossible for companies to make a profit in biodiesel.”
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