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    Spanish company Ferry Group is to invest €42/US$55.2 million in a project for the production of biomass fuel pellets in Bulgaria. The 3-year project consists of establishing plantations of paulownia trees near the city of Tran. Paulownia is a fast-growing tree used for the commercial production of fuel pellets. Dnevnik - Feb. 20, 2007.

    Hungary's BHD Hõerõmû Zrt. is to build a 35 billion Forint (€138/US$182 million) commercial biomass-fired power plant with a maximum output of 49.9 MW in Szerencs (northeast Hungary). Portfolio.hu - Feb. 20, 2007.

    Tonight at 9pm, BBC Two will be showing a program on geo-engineering techniques to 'save' the planet from global warming. Five of the world's top scientists propose five radical scientific inventions which could stop climate change dead in its tracks. The ideas include: a giant sunshade in space to filter out the sun's rays and help cool us down; forests of artificial trees that would breath in carbon dioxide and stop the green house effect and a fleet futuristic yachts that will shoot salt water into the clouds thickening them and cooling the planet. BBC News - Feb. 19, 2007.

    Archer Daniels Midland, the largest U.S. ethanol producer, is planning to open a biodiesel plant in Indonesia with Wilmar International Ltd. this year and a wholly owned biodiesel plant in Brazil before July, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The Brazil plant is expected to be the nation's largest, the paper said. Worldwide, the company projects a fourfold rise in biodiesel production over the next five years. ADM was not immediately available to comment. Reuters - Feb. 16, 2007.

    Finnish engineering firm Pöyry Oyj has been awarded contracts by San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. to provide services for the first bioethanol plant in the Philippines. The aggregate contract value is EUR 10 million. The plant is to be build in the Province of San Carlos on the north-eastern tip of Negros Island. The plant is expected to deliver 120,000 liters/day of bioethanol and 4 MW of excess power to the grid. Kauppalehti Online - Feb. 15, 2007.

    In order to reduce fuel costs, a Mukono-based flower farm which exports to Europe, is building its own biodiesel plant, based on using Jatropha curcas seeds. It estimates the fuel will cut production costs by up to 20%. New Vision (Kampala, Uganda) - Feb. 12, 2007.

    The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has decided to use 10% biodiesel in its fleet of public buses. The world's largest city is served by the Toei Bus System, which is used by some 570,000 people daily. Digital World Tokyo - Feb. 12, 2007.

    Fearing lack of electricity supply in South Africa and a price tag on CO2, WSP Group SA is investing in a biomass power plant that will replace coal in the Letaba Citrus juicing plant which is located in Tzaneen. Mining Weekly - Feb. 8, 2007.

    In what it calls an important addition to its global R&D capabilities, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is to build a new bioenergy research center in Hamburg, Germany. World Grain - Feb. 5, 2007.

    EthaBlog's Henrique Oliveira interviews leading Brazilian biofuels consultant Marcelo Coelho who offers insights into the (foreign) investment dynamics in the sector, the history of Brazilian ethanol and the relationship between oil price trends and biofuels. EthaBlog - Feb. 2, 2007.

    The government of Taiwan has announced its renewable energy target: 12% of all energy should come from renewables by 2020. The plan is expected to revitalise Taiwan's agricultural sector and to boost its nascent biomass industry. China Post - Feb. 2, 2007.

    Production at Cantarell, the world's second biggest oil field, declined by 500,000 barrels or 25% last year. This virtual collapse is unfolding much faster than projections from Mexico's state-run oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos. Wall Street Journal - Jan. 30, 2007.

    Dubai-based and AIM listed Teejori Ltd. has entered into an agreement to invest €6 million to acquire a 16.7% interest in Bekon, which developed two proprietary technologies enabling dry-fermentation of biomass. Both technologies allow it to design, establish and operate biogas plants in a highly efficient way. Dry-Fermentation offers significant advantages to the existing widely used wet fermentation process of converting biomass to biogas. Ame Info - Jan. 22, 2007.

    Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited is to build a biofuel production plant in the tribal belt of Banswara, Rajasthan, India. The petroleum company has acquired 20,000 hectares of low value land in the district, which it plans to commit to growing jatropha and other biofuel crops. The company's chairman said HPCL was also looking for similar wasteland in the state of Chhattisgarh. Zee News - Jan. 15, 2007.

    The Zimbabwean national police begins planting jatropha for a pilot project that must result in a daily production of 1000 liters of biodiesel. The Herald (Harare), Via AllAfrica - Jan. 12, 2007.

    In order to meet its Kyoto obligations and to cut dependence on oil, Japan has started importing biofuels from Brazil and elsewhere. And even though the country has limited local bioenergy potential, its Agriculture Ministry will begin a search for natural resources, including farm products and their residues, that can be used to make biofuels in Japan. To this end, studies will be conducted at 900 locations nationwide over a three-year period. The Japan Times - Jan. 12, 2007.

    Chrysler's chief economist Van Jolissaint has launched an arrogant attack on "quasi-hysterical Europeans" and their attitudes to global warming, calling the Stern Review 'dubious'. The remarks illustrate the yawning gap between opinions on climate change among Europeans and Americans, but they also strengthen the view that announcements by US car makers and legislators about the development of green vehicles are nothing more than window dressing. Today, the EU announced its comprehensive energy policy for the 21st century, with climate change at the center of it. BBC News - Jan. 10, 2007.

    The new Canadian government is investing $840,000 into BioMatera Inc. a biotech company that develops industrial biopolymers (such as PHA) that have wide-scale applications in the plastics, farmaceutical and cosmetics industries. Plant-based biopolymers such as PHA are biodegradable and renewable. Government of Canada - Jan. 9, 2007.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Malaysia launches new breed of palm oil biodiesel

Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Tuesday launched the B5 palm oil-based biofuel called "Envo Diesel", expressing
the hope that it would revolutionise the use of fuel in the country.

The use of the biofuel, a mixture of five per cent of processed palm oil and 95 per cent of petroleum diesel, would be implemented in stages starting with selected government vehicles and moving on to public use.

"If we are prudent in using the palm oil resource and have a holistic fuel strategy, God willing, we will be able to tide over the world crude oil price crisis and guarantee a sustainable and competitive energy source for the
country," he said.

The logo of Envo Diesel is the letter "V" designed to symbolise oil palm fronds to reflect an environment-friendly product, the advantage of the biofuel.

Abdullah said scientific studies undertaken by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) showed that the use of palm biofuel did not require modifying vehicle engines.

"Furthermore, the engine performance was comparable to one using ordinary diesel and the exhaust contained less smoke and carbon," he said.

Abdullah said the use of palm biofuel had been implemented successfully on a trial basis in MPOB vehicles since the 1980s.

As the next step, the Defence Ministry, the Selangor Public Works Department, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and agencies under the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities would use the fuel.

"I am made to understand that MPOB is working with fishermen to enable use of the fuel in their boats," the prime minister said.

He said a guarantee or warranty by vehicle manufacturers on engines using palm biofuel was important in boosting the confidence of consumers.

Praising Tan Chong Industries for having done so, Abdullah said he hoped that vehicle manufacturers and petroleum companies would support the government's initiative by initiating technical collaboration with MPOB in the near future.

The idea of the palm biodiesel project was born in 1982 and the working paper on it was submitted to the Cabinet in March 1983. In March 2004, the trial
use of Envo Diesel began with vehicles owned by MPOB.

Abdullah also said that the launch of Envo Diesel would be the catalyst for a change in the people's perception of the potential of the country's oil palm and agro-based industry sector.

He said the biodiesel industry in the United States focused on the use of soyabean oil while that in Brazil revolved around the production of ethanol from
sugarcane mixed with petrol.

Abdullah said the use of these countries' agricultural products in the production of biofuel contributed to the development of the respective agricultural industries, apart from stabilising the prices of the commodities at
a higher level.

"This is the desire and objective of the government for the agricultural sector and palm oil industry in the country," he said, adding that based on the
high potential of the biofuel industry many had shown interest in participating in it.

So far, seven biofuel manufacturing licences had been approved and several were under consideration.

Three biodiesel mills using MPOB technology with an annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes were under construction, with the first mill expected to go into
operation at the end of this year. (BERNAMA-TNA)--E002

Thai News Agency.


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