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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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Sunday, November 12, 2006

EcoSecurities registers 22 biogas projects under the CDM in Mexico and the Philippines

UK-based EcoSecurities, one of the world's leading companies in the business of originating, creating and trading carbon credits, announces the registration of 22 Methane Recovery and Electricity Generation projects under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The projects are planned and in some cases underway at a series of pig farms in Mexico and the Philippines. Each project calls for construction of a covered in-ground anaerobic reactor to convert animal waste into biogas, an energy source that can be used to generate clean electricity on the sites.

Eighteen of the 22 projects, planned in the Mexican states of Puebla and Veracruz, were developed by EcoSecurities in conjunction with Cargill and Granjas Carroll de Mexico (GCM). The additional 4 projects, in the Phillipine provinces of Tarlac and Bulacan, were developed by EcoSecurities and Philippine BioSciences Co. (PhilBio).
"The registration of these projects represents a significant achievement, not just from the sizeable reductions achieved in greenhouse gas emissions but also in other environmental and sustainable development benefits such as the elimination of odour, additional employment opportunities and diversification of energy sources". Jessica Orrego - EcoSecurities Implementation & Monitoring Manager .
These projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by the release of methane from wastewater lagoons. Methane is a greenhouse gas 21 times stronger than carbon dioxide. Combined, the projects have the potential to generate over 131,000 Certificates of Emission Reduction (CERs - one CER represents 1 tonne) per year :
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The CDM is a mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol which allows industrialised countries with a greenhouse gas reduction commitment (so-called Annex 1 countries) to invest in emission reducing projects in developing countries and count them towards their Kyoto targets.

British-based EcoSecurities, which develops and trades carbon credits, is pushing to boost its generation of carbon credits. Next year it plans to source 50 million to 100 million tonnes of greenhouse gas credits in Asia.

Recently, a number of critical organisations has pointed out that carbon trading has become a mechanism that is missing its original targets (earlier post), whereas others have revealed that CDM projects and their benefits seldom reach the poorer countries (earlier post), most notably those in Africa (earlier post).

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New elements in China's ongoing biofuels policy-work

Quicknote bioenergy policies
Over the past few years, China has been working on a compre- hensive bioenergy and biofuels policy, with goals and strategies included in the next Five Year Plan (earlier post). In the meantime, separate ministries and agencies are working out more concrete implementation and support steps.

The People's Republic's Ministry of Finance released a series of bioenergy measures, published in a document last Friday. The document only deals with liquid biofuels (biodiesel, ethanol, bio-oil and other liquid biofuels) used for transport. We are awaiting more details, but some elements of the document have been translated:
  • China will grant subsidies to bioenergy-producing companies when international crude oil prices fall below the green alternative's production cost, but only if the lower price lasts for a long period of time.
  • The subsidy-guarantee will ensure the sound development of biofuels and attract more investments in the sector.
  • Through a series of measures, unused land in mountainous areas will be made available and utilized for planting biofuel feedstocks, mainly sweet sorghum, corn and sweet potato.
  • Technological and research developments that promise to find wide applications in the sector, such as research into cellulosic ethanol or the development of new bioconversion technologies, will also be financially supported by a myriad of fiscal and other measures.
China has set itself the goal of increasing the proportion of renewable energy consumption to ten percent of the country's total energy consumption by 2010, according to the National Development and Reform Commission. As soon as more details of this policy document become available, we will report on them [entry ends here].
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