Meghan Sapp – Biofuels Digest The world's most widely-read advanced bioeconomy daily Sun, 14 Oct 2018 02:26:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Finnish government still supports forestry-based bioeconomy plans post IPCC-inspired backlash Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:35:56 +0000

In Finland, following the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that warns against deforestation and the benefits of forests as carbon sinks, national news agency YLE reports that the minister of economic affairs is under fire for continuing to support policy that relies on the country’s forest resources as feedstock for biofuels. The prime minister’s government was brought in partly due to his push for a strong bioeconomy, which has forests at its heart.

South Africa’s FairPlay applauds move to revive biofuels strategy Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:30:54 +0000

In South Africa, the FairPlay movement has welcomed the South African government’s decision to revive its biofuels strategy, as announced in a speech by Energy Minister Jeff Radebe at an energy conference in Cape Town last week. “This confirms FairPlay’s position that implementing a mandatory bioethanol fuel blend will benefit the country through job creation, increased fixed investment, technology development and energy security, as well as expanded sugar production and desperately needed jobs in poor rural areas,” said Francois Baird, founder of the movement that fights for a level playing field in trade, and for the protection of local jobs.

“It’s been a long time coming, and South Africa has to hope that this time it’s for real,” Baird said. “More than a decade ago, the government committed to a biofuels strategy, aiming at a mandatory blend of at least 2% ethanol in petrol. In 2015, it provided for a mix of between 2% and 10%. Nothing happened, and the strategy was never implemented.”

He noted that while countries around the world are developing and implementing fuel ethanol policies, spurred by sharply rising oil prices, South Africa has been left behind.

Asian UCO fueling European waste-based biofuels shift Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:28:55 +0000

In Malaysia, Reuters reports that used cooking oil from across Southeast Asia and China is becoming a prime feedstock for European biodiesel thanks to double-counting measures that provide a premium for waste-based feedstocks. Malaysia’s FatHopes that collects, cleans and exports UCO says its trade to Europe has grown 40% in the just the past three years and could triple by 2030 when the EU will phase out the use of virgin feedstocks for biodiesel production.

Nordic Investment Bank provides funding to Vantaan Energia to heat Helsinki with wood and peat Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:27:44 +0000

In Finland, the Nordic Investment Bank has signed a loan agreement with Vantaan Energia Oy to finance the retrofitting of its K1 boiler to use biofuel at the Martinlaakso CHP plant in Vantaa, Finland. The loan to Vantaan Energia Oy is EUR 27 million and has a maturity of eight years.

The K1 boiler will start using domestic biofuel, of which 90% is wood biomass and 10% peat. This will significantly reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and help lower CO2 emissions in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Vantaan Energia is also installing a flue gas condenser for heat recovery with a capacity of 25 MW. The total capacity of the renewed CHP plant will be 120 MW. Construction is ongoing. The renewed plant will be or commission in February 2019.

Brazil contracts 964.8 million liters of biodiesel for $729.3 million at auction Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:26:25 +0000

In Brazil, ANP sold 964.8 million liters of biodiesel at its most recent auction at an average price of 75 cents per liter totaling $729.3 million. More than 1 billion liters of biodiesel was offered at the two day auction by 38 producers, 99.1% of which bored the Social Fuel Seal indicating feedstock was sourced from small farmers. The first day of the auction saw 942.4 million liters sold with the remainder sold on the second day. The fuel will be used to supply the country’s B10 blending mandate between November 1 and December 31.

Indonesia flipping back and forth on raising fuel prices Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:25:24 +0000

In Indonesia, on the back of rising petroleum prices, the Jakarta Post reports that Pertamina raised fuel prices for non-public service obligation (PSO) biodiesel blends and regular gasoline. PSO fuel prices remained unchanged. The company said that it wasn’t going to raise fuel prices in regions recently hit by back-to-back natural disasters. Just a few hours later after the energy minister announced the price increase, the government annulled the price hike after political backlash saying prices needed to be discussed.

University of Illinois researchers complete sugarcane genome sequence Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:24:14 +0000

In Illinois, for centuries, sugarcane has supplied human societies with alcohol, biofuel, building and weaving materials, and the world’s most relied-upon source of sugar. Now, researchers have extracted a sweet scientific prize from sugarcane: its massive and complex genome sequence, which may lead to the development of hardier and more productive cultivars.

Producing the comprehensive sequence required a concerted effort by over 100 scientists from 16 institutions; the work took five years and culminated in a publication in Nature Genetics. But the motivation to tackle the project arose long before.

American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers may sue Trump Administration of E15 Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:23:10 +0000

In Washington, the Washington Examiner reports that a source close to the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers said the organization was likely to sue the Trump Administration for approving year-round E15 sales. In a statement following the report that Trump had told Senators he was going ahead with policy shift, the AFPM’s CEO said in a statement, “The President’s proposal to waive the rules for E15 is unlawful and could actually make the problems of the Renewable Fuel Standard worse. The President has promised to broker a deal to reform the RFS that works for all stakeholders. This isn’t it. We are disappointed to see that despite good-faith efforts by refiners to find potential solutions, the Administration has unilaterally embraced a one-sided approach that only serves the ethanol community, which has shown little interest in finding common ground.”

BPCL breaks ground on India’s first commercial 2G ethanol plant Wed, 10 Oct 2018 00:47:50 +0000

In India, the Business Standard reports that Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s $134.8 million 30 million liter per year second-generation ethanol plant in Odisha could be commissioned by the end of 2020 following groundbreaking on Wednesday. The facility will use 200,000 metric tons of rice straw as feedstock annually and uses a zero-liquid discharge technology that recycles all water back into the production processes. Of the 12 similar 2G ethanol plants proposed around the country, the Odisha facility is the first to break ground.

Hope for stronger palm oil prices in Q4 relies on possibility of El Niño Wed, 10 Oct 2018 00:45:38 +0000

In Malaysia, palm oil prices are seeking ticking upwards come the end of the year thanks to increased demand for biodiesel on the back of higher petroleum prices but also due to expected negative impacts on production from extended dry periods during key growing periods that will likely result from an upcoming El Niño. Australia’s meteorology department are expecting a 50% chance of a heatwave but if it reaches a 70% chance, then markets will correct higher. Higher revenues will help producers breathe a sigh of relief following crude palm oil prices reaching three-year lows earlier this month.