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    PolyOne Corporation, the US supplier of specialised polymer materials, has opened a new colour concentrates manufacturing plant in Kutno, Poland. Located in central Poland, the new plant will produce colour products in the first instance, although the company says the facility can be expanded to handle other products. In March, the Ohio-based firm launched a range of of liquid colourants for use in bioplastics in biodegradable applications. The concentrates are European food contact compliant and can be used in polylactic acid (PLA) or starch-based blends. Plastics & Rubber Weekly - October 2, 2007.

    A turbo-charged, spray-guided direct-injection engine running on pure ethanol (E100) can achieve very high specific output, and shows “significant potential for aggressive engine downsizing for a dedicated or dual-fuel solution”, according to engineers at Orbital Corporation. GreenCarCongress - October 2, 2007.

    UK-based NiTech Solutions receives £800,000 in private funding to commercialize a cost-saving industrial mixing system, dubbed the Continuous Oscillatory Baffled Reactor (COBR), which can lower costs by 50 per cent and reduce process time by as much as 90 per cent during the manufacture of a range of commodities including chemicals, drugs and biofuels. Scotsman - October 2, 2007.

    A group of Spanish investors is building a new bioethanol plant in the western region of Extremadura that should be producing fuel from maize in 2009. Alcoholes Biocarburantes de Extremadura (Albiex) has already started work on the site near Badajoz and expects to spend €42/$59 million on the plant in the next two years. It will produce 110 million litres a year of bioethanol and 87 million kg of grain byproduct that can be used for animal feed. Europapress - September 28, 2007.

    Portuguese fuel company Prio SA and UK based FCL Biofuels have joined forces to launch the Portuguese consumer biodiesel brand, PrioBio, in the UK. PrioBio is scheduled to be available in the UK from 1st November. By the end of this year (2007), says FCL Biofuel, the partnership’s two biodiesel refineries will have a total capacity of 200,000 tonnes which will is set to grow to 400,000 tonnes by the end of 2010. Biofuel Review - September 27, 2007.

    According to Tarja Halonen, the Finnish president, one third of the value of all of Finland's exports consists of environmentally friendly technologies. Finland has invested in climate and energy technologies, particularly in combined heat and power production from biomass, bioenergy and wind power, the president said at the UN secretary-general's high-level event on climate change. Newroom Finland - September 25, 2007.

    Spanish engineering and energy company Abengoa says it had suspended bioethanol production at the biggest of its three Spanish plants because it was unprofitable. It cited high grain prices and uncertainty about the national market for ethanol. Earlier this year, the plant, located in Salamanca, ceased production for similar reasons. To Biopact this is yet another indication that biofuel production in the EU/US does not make sense and must be relocated to the Global South, where the biofuel can be produced competitively and sustainably, without relying on food crops. Reuters - September 24, 2007.

    The Midlands Consortium, comprised of the universities of Birmingham, Loughborough and Nottingham, is chosen to host Britain's new Energy Technologies Institute, a £1 billion national organisation which will aim to develop cleaner energies. University of Nottingham - September 21, 2007.

    The EGGER group, one of the leading European manufacturers of chipboard, MDF and OSB boards has begun work on installing a 50MW biomass boiler for its production site in Rion. The new furnace will recycle 60,000 tonnes of offcuts to be used in the new combined heat and power (CHP) station as an ecological fuel. The facility will reduce consumption of natural gas by 75%. IHB Network - September 21, 2007.

    Analysts fear that record oil prices will fuel general inflation in Kenya, particularly hitting the poorest hard. They call for the development of new policies and strategies to cope with sustained high oil prices. Such policies include alternative fuels like biofuels, conservation measures, and more investments in oil and gas exploration. The poor in Kenya are hit hardest by the sharp increase, because they spend most of their budget on fuel and transport. Furthermore, in oil intensive economies like Kenya, high oil prices push up prices for food and most other basic goods. All Africa - September 20, 2007.

    Finland's Metso Power has won an order to supply Kalmar Energi Värme AB with a biomass-fired power boiler for the company’s new combined heat and power plant in Kalmar on the east coast of Sweden. Start-up for the plant is scheduled for the end of 2009. The value of the order is approximately EUR 55 million. The power boiler (90 MWth) will utilize bubbling fluidized bed technology and will burn biomass replacing old district heating boilers and reducing the consumption of oil. The delivery will also include a flue gas condensing system to increase plant's district heat production. Metso Corporation - September 19, 2007.

    Jo-Carroll Energy announced today its plan to build an 80 megawatt, biomass-fueled, renewable energy center in Illinois. The US$ 140 million plant will be fueled by various types of renewable biomass, such as clean waste wood, corn stover and switchgrass. Jo-Carroll Energy - September 18, 2007.

    Beihai Gofar Marine Biological Industry Co Ltd, in China's southern region of Guangxi, plans to build a 100,000 tonne-per-year fuel ethanol plant using cassava as feedstock. The Shanghai-listed company plans to raise about 560 million yuan ($74.5 million) in a share placement to finance the project and boost its cash flow. Reuters - September 18, 2007.

    The oil-dependent island state of Fiji has requested US company Avalor Capital, LLC, to invest in biodiesel and ethanol. The Fiji government has urged the company to move its $250million 'Fiji Biofuels Project' forward at the earliest possible date. Fiji Live - September 18, 2007.

    The Bowen Group, one of Ireland's biggest construction groups has announced a strategic move into the biomass energy sector. It is planning a €25 million investment over the next five years to fund up to 100 projects that will create electricity from biomass. Its ambition is to install up to 135 megawatts of biomass-fuelled heat from local forestry sources, which is equal to 50 million litres or about €25m worth of imported oil. Irish Examiner - September 16, 2007.

    According to Dr Niphon Poapongsakorn, dean of Economics at Thammasat University in Thailand, cassava-based ethanol is competitive when oil is above $40 per barrel. Thailand is the world's largest producer and exporter of cassava for industrial use. Bangkok Post - September 14, 2007.

    German biogas and biodiesel developer BKN BioKraftstoff Nord AG has generated gross proceeds totaling €5.5 million as part of its capital increase from authorized capital. Ad Hoc News - September 13, 2007.

    NewGen Technologies, Inc. announced that it and Titan Global Holdings, Inc. completed a definitive Biofuels Supply Agreement which will become effective upon Titan’s acquisition of Appalachian Oil Company. Given APPCO’s current distribution of over 225 million gallons of fuel products per year, the initial expected ethanol supply to APPCO should exceed 1 million gallons a month. Charlotte dBusinessNews - September 13, 2007.

    Oil prices reach record highs as the U.S. Energy Information Agency releases a report that showed crude oil inventories fell by more than seven million barrels last week. The rise comes despite a decision by the international oil cartel, OPEC, to raise its output quota by 500,000 barrels. Reuters - September 12, 2007.

    OPEC decided today to increase the volume of crude supplied to the market by Member Countries (excluding Angola and Iraq) by 500,000 b/d, effective 1 November 2007. The decision comes after oil reached near record-highs and after Saudi Aramco announced that last year's crude oil production declined by 1.7 percent, while exports declined by 3.1 percent. OPEC - September 11, 2007.

    GreenField Ethanol and Monsanto Canada launch the 'Gro-ethanol' program which invites Ontario's farmers to grow corn seed containing Monsanto traits, specifically for the ethanol market. The corn hybrids eligible for the program include Monsanto traits that produce higher yielding corn for ethanol production. MarketWire - September 11, 2007.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

British recycling company to export wood chips to Germany for bioenergy

A huge mountain of wood chippings from Dorset, in the UK, is to be shipped to mainland Europe where it will be used to provide energy to power homes and businesses in Germany. Work on moving the 2,000 tonnes of chippings from Eco Composting’s 13-acre site at Parley, on the outskirts of Bournemouth International Airport, got underway this week.

The company chose to export the biomass rather than sending it to landfill, after its customer, chipboard manufacturer Kronanspan, in north Wales, raised the material quality specification meaning that recycled wood from civic amenity sites can not be used to make chipboard. Record electricity and fossil fuel prices (including coal) and efficient, dedicated biomass power plants in Europe make the trade of such 'opportunity fuels' feasible.

Waste management specialist SITA UK has worked closely with Eco Composting, its sub-contractor, and Gloucestershire-based company Boomeco to find a ‘green friendly’ solution for the disposal of the wood. The wood comes from household recycling centres across Dorset which are operated by SITA UK on behalf of local councils.

The chippings, equivalent to about 100 truckloads, are being taken to Southampton Docks ready for shipment to Europe. On arrival in Germany the wood will be transferred to a biomass plant in the north of the country for burning, generating electricity for homes and businesses.
SITA UK, Eco and Boomeco have worked hard on finding a safe and environmentally friendly solution to the disposal of this wood. It’s good news that it will be used to provide clean and green energy for homes and businesses. Of course, it would be even better news if the wood chippings were to remain on our site and used to provide power for Dorset homes. To date, our plans have met with great support and we’re hopeful planning permission will be granted. - Andy Hill, Eco’s Sales and Marketing Director
Biomass plants were highlighted in last year’s Stern Report on Global Warming as a way of tackling climate change. They burn wood products but in a way that is carbon neutral and, therefore, does not contribute towards global warming.

Eco Composting has officially submitted a planning application to build its own £7 million biomass plant on its existing composting and wood recycling site at Parley. If approved it would be one of the first facilities of its type in the UK. The 25,000 tonne capacity facility would be capable of generating 2.7MW of electricity a year. The electricity would be sent to the national grid at nearby Redhill and be enough to power about 5,000 local homes:
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Currently there is only one other biomass plant operating in the UK although a number are in the pipeline and they have been operating in Europe for five years. According to Hill, they not only make environmental, but economic, sense.

Eco estimate that the wood chippings being shipped to Germany would provide power for about 5,000 homes for six weeks. If permission is granted, Eco’s biomass plant could be up and running by 2009.

Eco Composting is one of the UK’s leading organics recycling firms, annually processing 120,000 tonnes of material on its 14-acre site at Parley, Dorset. End products include turf, enriched topsoil, compost and woodchip. Eco employs 29 staff and recorded a £3.5m turnover in the year to December 31, 2006.

Biomass trade is growing rapidly and is moving beyond regional borders. Spot coal prices have reached all time records in Europe, at over US$100 per tonne (CIF), whereas carbon prices have remained firm. This has prompted some major power companies to import biofuels from other countries. Recently, Dutch power company Essent started importing coffee husks from Brazil, to be used for co-firing at one of its coal plants. It has contracted to import 5,000 tons in a first stage, with an option to purchase a second load of 20,000 tonnes.

Depending on their bulk density, biomass residues from agriculture, forestry and industry can be shipped over long distances competitively. However, freight prices have increased considerably over the past years.

Picture: Andy Hill, Eco’s Sales and Marketing Director, with some of the wood chippings which are bound for Germany. Credit: Eco Composting.


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