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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, January 15, 2007

EU to press China on green energy and climate change

Quicknote bioenergy cooperation
The EU will urge China to cut greenhouse gases and cooperate on energy security as External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner heads to Beijing for talks on a new strategic partnership. External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner will launch negotiations on a comprehensive new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with China on 17 January 2007.

The pact will replace an outdated 1985 trade and economic pact. It will not only cover trade and economic ties – now worth hundreds of billions of euros per year – but also matters such as the environment, energy, security and counter-terrorism, political cooperation, agriculture, transport, customs, science and education (overview of the EU's China policies).

The focus on energy and climate change comes days after the EU launched its new, ambitious plan for an 'energy revolution' that must take the Union into a renewable, green and secure 21st century (earlier post). The plans call for EU members to endorse a 20% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2020. Up till now, under the Kyoto Protocol the EU has committed to an 8% reduction by 2012. The EU knows it can't win the 'war against climate change' on its own, and is therefor determined to build a global coalition to tackle the challenge. A recent World Energy Outlook report by the Union shows the urgency of the development of a global low carbon economy (earlier post), a vision that begins to dawn on China too. The People's Republic published its first-ever national assessment on climate change just days ago, and its conclusions are grim (earlier post).

China's role in global warming
Within this context, Ferrero-Waldner will press China – currently the second largest emitter of carbon-dioxide behind the United States – to do more to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. "China is opening a new coal-fired power station every week and it's clear we can't achieve any of our objectives on emissions without China," a Commission spokeswoman said.

China has signed the Kyoto Protocol but is not tied by any legally binding emissions- reduction targets. The EU wants to draw all major emitters of greenhouse gases - including the United States, China and India - into a binding pollution-cutting scheme so as not to penalise its own industry against tough foreign competition.

European business associations have repeatedly criticised the EU for "going it alone" on climate change and putting the competitiveness of EU industries under excessive pressure.

The EU and China signed a Partnership Agreement on Climate Change in September 2005 aimed at developing "zero-emissions" coal plants in China, based on EU technology, and at promoting the development and democratisation of new energy technologies. Ferrero-Waldner wants to speed up the implementation of this agreement: "It is very important that we get results from it," she said.

Global energy security
China's great and increasing appetite for raw materials – including oil and coal – has pushed prices up and is fuelling concern about the long-term availability of energy sources. In new energy policy plans presented last week, the Commission said it hoped for co-operation, rather than competition, from China in securing future energy supplies. Over the coming days, we will be tracking the creation of this new strategic partnership as it relates to energy and climate change [entry ends here]
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Anonymous said...

Interesting post!

Great looking site - I'll be sure to pop back.

Maybe link up on a story in future too?

I'm over at:
The Green Chemistry Technical Blog

Best wishes


3:03 PM  

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