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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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Monday, November 13, 2006

UNCTAD's workshop on jatropha projects kicks off in Accra

Quicknote bioenergy events
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the EcoWas Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), which promotes investments in West Africa, are holding a three-day workshop on financing and the socio-economics of jatropha projects with special emphasis on how these fit into the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

The meeting will take place from November 13 to 14 in Accra, Ghana. A field trip to biofuel plantations is planned for the 15th. Its main objectives are:
  • to experience and exchange strategies on innovative financing like structured finance and the CDM, which contribute to the promotion of investments that can support rural development of the whole region, and thus contribute to the realization of the Millennium Development Goals;
  • to streamline all successful initiatives;
  • to identify the role of stakeholders in the development of the biofuel supply chain;
  • to consolidate strategies and adopt a regional approach for the promotion and development of biofuels in Africa.
The workshop has not been publicized and participants join on invitation only. We want to share some of the presentations though, to show our readers the wide range of topics involved in financing and getting jatropha projects off the ground:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

- Dr. Victor Agyeman (Director of National Plantations Development Centre, Ghana) speaks about "National Afforestation/Reforestation programme in Ghana and
how it can benefit from the CDM of the Kyoto Protocol"

- Mr. Rajan Paradkar (General Manager ARMACO Consultants, India), makes a presentation on "Biofuels and perspectives for Africa, Learning from the Indian experience and the fast growing biofuels industry in India."

- Onua Amoah (CEO of Anuanom Industrial Bio Products Limited Ghana): "JATROPHA: a catalyst for economic Growth and development in Africa."

- Herr Reinhard Henning (Bagani, Germany), Jatropha as a Tool to Combat Climate Change and Poverty Reduction.

Mr Henning is a bit of a symbol for the 'jatropha community'. Already in the late 1980s he started doing research and implemented projects in West Africa. He has meanwhile become the authority in the field. Mr Henning operates the best Jatropha information resource on the web, with an active and busy forum. Check it out here.

- Mr. Edjare Kerkwijk (Chief Financial Officer/Head Office Asia, BioX Group B.V. Malaysia), "Boosting the chances of success of Jatropha projects: how to secure revenue from carbon credits."

- Mr. William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu (National Climate Change Coordinator, Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana) "CDM and its Application - from Afforestation & Reforestation, to all stages of the value chain bio diesel production."

- Mr. M.P. Singh, Earthizenz, and Mrs. Geetika Kalha, (Gen. Sec. Village Life Improvement Foundation) "Boosting the chances of success of jatropha and biodiesel
projects while securing revenue from carbon credits: Village empowered project"

- Dr. John K.ofi Agyekumhene (CEO, National Microfinance & Small Loans Office, Ghana), "Supporting the development of Jatropha Farms with Micro finance for job creation, reduction in rural urban drift and wealth creation."

- Mr. T.B. Tall (Director of Policy, ECOWAS BANK, Lome – Togo) "Financing opportunities for the development of Jatropha - Applying structured finance approaches on the back of expected future payment flow."

- Onua Amoah (CEO of Anuanom Industrial Bio Products Limited, Ghana) "Jatropha project in Ghana (How to restore vegetation and the ecosystem along major man made lakes and ways to raise finance)

- P Krishnan Mohandas (Director, Jason Impex Pvt. Ltd, India), "Financing Jatropha Curcas Plantations up to Bio-Fuel Production: Roles of Buyers."

Other topics include:
"Financial tools to promote the development of Jatropha plantations and biofuels."

"Senegal Programme for the Development of Jatropha and biodiesel"

"Mali Programme for the Development of Jatropha Plant and biodiesel, with emphasis on CDM."

"The role of local banks in financing Jatropha and biofuel projects: how to structure finance based on future payment flows."

As the presentations come on-line, we will report back on them.


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