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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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Thursday, October 26, 2006

French energy giant to buy carbon credits from Chinese biomass projects

President Jacques Chirac is visiting China, joined by a host of french top executives. Amongst them are delegates of Electricité de France (EDF), one of the world's largest energy firms. The trading arm of the Paris-based group yesterday signed an initial agreement with China's leading electricity distributor to buy 1.5 million tons of annual greenhouse emission credits under the Kyoto Protocol's carbon-trading scheme, known as the Clean Development Mechanism.

EDF Trading signed a letter of intent with China National Bio Energy Co Ltd [*.pdf], the renewable energy subsidiary of the giant State Grid Corporation of China, to purchase carbon credits from its three biomass power generation projects located in China.

The accord was based on the clean development mechanism (CDM) system under the Kyoto Protocol's climate improvement initiatives. The international Kyoto Protocol allows developed countries to achieve greenhouse gas emission targets by funding GHG reduction efforts in developing nations. The mechanism has spawned a global carbon market of sorts, with a boom in China because of its vast bioenergy potential (earlier post).

Located in East China's Shandong Province and Northeast China's Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces, the three CDM projects are expected to come on stream in the first half of next year, and could cut carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 1.5 million tons a year by 2010, said Lin Mingshan, general manager of Beijing-based China National Bio Energy.

"These are the projects that will benefit both sides. China is fulfilling its duty to improve the nation's environmental conditions by massively investing in such projects," Lin said. Established in July last year, China National Bio is currently building as many as 14 biomass generation plants across the nation, boasting a total installed capacity of 350 megawatts (MW). In the next four years, China National Bio plans to expand its biomass-fuelled capacity to more than 2,000 MW, accounting for 55% the nation's biomass power generation:
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"By then, we will be able to cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 12 million tons per year," the company said in a statement, without disclosing the investment involved.

Lin told China Daily that he expected more such CDM co-operation deals to be hammered out in the future with EDF or other potential buyers. The carbon credit market in China is heating up with the central government's recent incentives prompting an increasing number of energy firms to heavily invest in renewable energy projects.

"The potential of the CDM market in China is huge," Wang Qi, secretary-general of Beijing-based China CDM Federation, told China Daily in an earlier interview.

"There's great potential for profitability. An increasing number of companies, big and small, domestic and foreign, are flocking into China's carbon market," said Jiang Yun, programme manager of the China Energy Conservation Association.

EDF Trading was set up five years ago and became a wholly owned subsidiary of EDF Group in mid-2003.

Now one of the leaders in European wholesale trading of electricity, gas and coal, EDF Trading optimises EDF's distribution and generation network through buying and selling both electricity and primary fuels, and manages EDF's diverse commodity risks on an integrated basis. European energy giant EDF operates coal-fired power plants with an installed capacity of 3,720 MW in China.

More information:
China Daily: Energy giant signs carbon credits deal - Oct. 26, 2006
Xinhua: Energy giant EDF signs carbon credits deal with China - Oct. 26, 2006


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