<body> -------------------
Contact Us       Consulting       Projects       Our Goals       About Us
home » Archive » Bioenergy_economics
Nature Blog Network

    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.

Creative Commons License

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

International roundtable looks at building the world's largest dam in Congo

Earlier we sketched the huge but unrealised potential of the Inga dam on the Congo river in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since the 1970s, engineers have been dreaming of building a dam at the natural rapids some 100 kilometres downstream of the capital Kinshasa. In theory, the 'Grand Inga' would be the world's largest. With its 42,000MW capacity it would be bigger than the Three Gorges (18,000MW) and the Itaipu (14,000MW) combined. The dam could power Africa out of energy poverty, and would even sell excess electricity to Europe and the Middle East.

We referred to the Inga project in the context of biofuels, for a clear reason. The countries bordering the Congo river - the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo - are all potential biofuels superpowers. The Congo river would be the main transport hub bringing biofuels and biomass downstream to Kinshasa, where the green feedstocks would be converted into finished products, notably liquid fuels. But the conversion of biomass requires energy itself, which is why Inga is so important: abundant and cheap electricity would make Congo-basin biofuels very competitive and ready for export to the world market. Of course, for the time being this is a futuristic scenario and much has to be done to turn it into a reality (earlier post).

The first step is being taken, though. Some of the continent's major financial and political bodies are organising an international round table in Johannesburg, South Africa, from October 5-6 in order to arouse donor interest in the hydroelectric potential of the Inga in the Nkokolo valley in the DRC. The African Development Bank (ADB), the African Union (AU), and the the New Partnership for the Development of Africa (NEPAD) are the main organisers and have summarized the objectives of the round table as follows:
  • to mobilize development partners’ support for the development and exploitation of Inga hydropower potential
  • to inform donors, investors and potential consumers of the potential of the hydroelectricity project to provide enough power to meet energy needs and requirements of DRC, a large number of African countries, as well as provide surplus energy that can be exported to Europe and the Middle East
  • to register declarations of interest from investors and potential clients to enable effective and planned development of the Inga
  • to seek the views and input of development partners and all parties (including NGO's and civil society organisations) interested in the project into the orientation of a planned feasibility study for further development of the Inga Hydropower Site.
With the advent of NEPAD and the promise of regional integration it brings with it, and with rising global energy prices, the prospects for the development of the Inga are brighter today than they have ever been and interest in further developing the site is stronger:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::
The African Development Bank carried out a study between 1993-1998 to evaluate the feasibility and viability of power interconnectivity between the Inga in DRC, Egypt, the Central African Republic, Chad and Sudan. The World Bank has just completed a study on the rehabilitation of the existing infrastructure, and the ADB is planning a holistic study that will look at the viability of further development of the site.

More than 60 representatives from governments, international organizations, public sectors, private sector, donor agencies, development partners, NGOs and the civil society are expected to participate in the round table.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home