Meghan Sapp – Biofuels Digest The world's most widely-read advanced bioeconomy daily Wed, 19 Jun 2019 23:24:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Green Plains announces offering of $105 million in convertible senior notes Wed, 19 Jun 2019 23:24:56 +0000

In Nebraska, Green Plains Inc. announced the pricing of its offering of $105 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2024, which was upsized from the previously announced $100 million aggregate principal amount of notes. The notes are to be offered and sold in a private placement to qualified institutional buyers (as defined in Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”)), by the initial purchasers of the notes.  The company has also granted the initial purchasers of the notes a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional $20 million aggregate principal amount of notes.

The company expects to use approximately $40 million of the net proceeds from the offering to repurchase approximately 3.2 million shares of common stock concurrently with the offering in privately negotiated transactions. These repurchases are allocated out of the remaining $80 million of availability under the $100 million stock purchase program authorized by the Board of Directors in 2014. The company also expects to use approximately $57.8 million of the net proceeds to repurchase the outstanding $56.8 million outstanding principal amount of its 3.25% convertible senior notes due October 1, 2019, including accrued interest, in privately negotiated transactions concurrently with this offering.  The remaining proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes.

China refuses to drop anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on US-origin DDGS Wed, 19 Jun 2019 23:23:44 +0000

In China, Reuters reports that despite an upcoming meeting between US and Chinese leaders next week and an investigation into anti-dumping tariffs on US-origin DDGS that concluded in April, the country has decided not to drop the tariffs because it fears that lowering the tariffs would encourage an untenable influx of DDGS that could damage domestic producers. Existing anti-dumping duties are 42.2%-53.7% while anti-subsidy tariffs are 11.2%-12%. The trade war between the US and China escalated again last month and some Chinese traders believe Beijing’s decision on US-origin DDGS could be a sign that it is not afraid to continue fighting the war.

Indonesian ship owners worried about impacts of B30 mandate on their engines Wed, 19 Jun 2019 23:22:41 +0000

In Indonesia, the Jakarta Post newspaper reports that the trade association for ship operators fears that mandatory use of B30 could negatively impact the engines of their vessels. Most vessels have old engines which the association’s secretary general said have already suffered from the use of mandated B20, so the switch to B30 next year would lead to significant financial losses. The challenge, he said, with B20 is its higher viscosity compared to 100% fossil-based diesel which slows down the combustion of fuel in the older engines.

Virgin Australia hits 1 millionth kilometer flying on Gevo aviation biofuel Wed, 19 Jun 2019 23:21:47 +0000

In Australia, Aviation Australia reports that Virgin Australia Airlines has racked up 1 million kilometers on aviation biofuel with 700 flights flown on a blend since it started running its trial on commercial flights last fall after taking its first delivery of Gevo fuel in August 2018. The trial is in partnership between the airline, Gevo, the government of Queensland, Brisbane Airport where Virgin Australia has its hub, and supply chain partners Caltex and DB Schenker.

Ethanol stocks fall to one-year lows but production hardly slows Wed, 19 Jun 2019 23:20:48 +0000

In Washington, DTN reports that Energy Information Administration information shows ethanol stocks fell to a one-year low last week of 21.6 million bbl, down 200,000 barrels while production only slowed 15,000 barrels per day to 1.081 million bpd. Despite corn prices at five-year highs and ethanol crush margins still in negative numbers, last week’s production was the second-highest of the year so far, with the four-week production average up nearly 2%. The Rocky Mountain region held steady while the West Coast region increased by 300,000 barrels, leaving the rest of the regions to draw down between 100,000 and 200,000 barrels each.

My Eco Energy taken to court over fraud allegations Wed, 19 Jun 2019 23:19:40 +0000

In India, DNA India reports that My Eco Energy has been drug to court over allegations of fraud, which the Gujarat High Court has taken seriously enough to freeze the company’s ability to cash in a bank guarantee, a move which can only be done when allegations of fraud are at stake. The case was brought by a gas station owner who was sold a franchise for retailing the company’s biodiesel in August 2018 but despite investing in the infrastructure to sell the fuel has never received any. He claims the situation is similar across the country where My Eco Energy has failed to deliver fuels to would-be stations.

Lawrence Lab and JBEI identify molecular mechanism in bacteria to help boost biofuel production Wed, 19 Jun 2019 23:18:39 +0000

In California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists and collaborators at the Joint BioEnergy Institute have identified a molecular mechanism in bacteria that can be manipulated to promote tolerance to imidazolium ionic liquid (IIL) solvents, and therefore overcome a key gap in biofuel and biochemical production processes. The research appears in the Journal of Bacteriology.

The team used four bacillus strains that were isolated from compost (and a mutant E. coli bacterium) and found that two of the strains and the E. coli mutant can withstand high levels of two widely used ILLs.

The normal, unmodified riboswitch interacts with guanidine and undergoes a conformational change, causing the pump to switch on and make the bacterial cells resistant to ILLs.

The results could help identify genetic engineering strategies that improve conversion of cellulosic sugars into biofuels and biochemicals in processes where a low concentration of ionic liquids surpass bacterial tolerance.

Uttar Pradesh offers itself to lead ethanol revolution Wed, 19 Jun 2019 23:17:28 +0000

In India, the Business Standard newspaper reports that the Uttar Pradesh government has offered up its sugar industry to the central government in order to lead on ethanol production so it may achieve ethanol blending goals. As one of the top cane producers in the country, it is home to 30% of the new proposed ethanol production capacity announced following a flurry of incentives earlier this year to increase production, just behind Maharashtra. Key cane companies have already announced what 1.2 million liters per day of additional production capacity under development. What the partnership discussed between UP’s chief minister and the national petroleum and gas minister entails is not yet clear.

US looking to import Latin American corn for ethanol feedstock Wed, 19 Jun 2019 00:09:44 +0000

In Brazil, the CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association told Reuters that due to the wet Midwestern weather that has negatively impacted corn planting and pushed corn prices to five-year highs that US ethanol producers are looking to import Brazilian corn for feedstock. Though he said he hadn’t heard of actual trades yet, Agroconsult said they had heard of trades for both US coasts from Brazil and Argentina. Some ethanol production could be idled if the corn situation isn’t resolved soon.

Neste and LyondellBasell announce first co-production of bioplastics at commercial scale Wed, 19 Jun 2019 00:08:36 +0000

In Finland, Neste and LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world, jointly announced the first parallel production of bio-based polypropylene and bio-based low-density polyethylene at a commercial scale.

The joint project used Neste’s renewable hydrocarbons derived from sustainable bio-based raw materials, such as waste and residue oils. The project successfully produced several thousand tons of bio-based plastics which are approved for the production of food packaging and being marketed under Circulen and Circulen Plus, the new family of LyondellBasell circular economy product brands.