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

    South Korea plans to invest 20 billion won (€14.8/$21.8 million) by 2010 on securing technologies to develop synthetic fuels from biomass, coal and natural gas, as well as biobutanol. 29 private companies, research institutes and universities will join this first stage of the "next-generation clean energy development project" led by South Korea's Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy. Korea Times - November 19, 2007.

    OPEC leaders began a summit today with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez issuing a chilling warning that crude prices could double to US$200 from their already-record level if the United States attacked Iran or Venezuela. He urged assembled leaders from the OPEC, meeting for only the third time in the cartel's 47-year history, to club together for geopolitical reasons. But the cartel is split between an 'anti-US' block including Venezuela, Iran, and soon to return ex-member Ecuador, and a 'neutral' group comprising most Gulf States. France24 - November 17, 2007.

    The article "Biofuels: What a Biopact between North and South could achieve" published in the scientific journal Energy Policy (Volume 35, Issue 7, 1 July 2007, Pages 3550-3570) ranks number 1 in the 'Top 25 hottest articles'. The article was written by professor John A. Mathews, Macquarie University (Sydney, Autralia), and presents a case for a win-win bioenergy relationship between the industrialised and the developing world. Mathews holds the Chair of Strategic Management at the university, and is a leading expert in the analysis of the evolution and emergence of disruptive technologies and their global strategic management. ScienceDirect - November 16, 2007.

    Timber products company China Grand Forestry Resources Group announced that it would acquire Yunnan Shenyu New Energy, a biofuels research group, for €560/$822 million. Yunnan Shenyu New Energy has developed an entire industrial biofuel production chain, from a fully active energy crop seedling nursery to a biorefinery. Cleantech - November 16, 2007.

    Northern European countries launch the Nordic Bioenergy Project - "Opportunities and consequences of an expanding bio energy market in the Nordic countries" - with the aim to help coordinate bioenergy activities in the Nordic countries and improve the visibility of existing and future Nordic solutions in the complex field of bioenergy, energy security, competing uses of resources and land, regional development and environmental impacts. A wealth of data, analyses and cases will be presented on a new website - Nordic Energy - along with announcements of workshops during the duration of project. Nordic Energy - November 14, 2007.

    Global Partners has announced that it is planning to increase its refined products and biofuels storage capacity in Providence, Rhode Island by 474,000 barrels. The partnership has entered into agreements with New England Petroleum Terminal, at a deepwater marine terminal located at the Port of Providence. PRInside - November 14, 2007.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) kicks off the meeting in Valencia, Spain, which will result in the production of the Synthesis Report on climate change. The report will summarize the core findings of the three volumes published earlier by the separate working groups. IPCC - November 12, 2007.

    Biopact's Laurens Rademakers is interviewed by Mongabay on the risks of large-scale bioenergy with carbon storage (BECS) proposals. Even though Biopact remains positive about BECS, because it offers one of the few safe systems to mitigate climate change in a drastic way, care must be take to avoid negative impacts on tropical forests. Mongabay - November 10, 2007.

    According to the latest annual ranking produced by The Scientist, Belgium is the world's best country for academic research, followed by the U.S. and Canada. Belgium's top position is especially relevant for plant, biology, biotechnology and bioenergy research, as these are amongst the science fields on which it scores best. The Scientist - November 8, 2007.

    Mascoma Corporation, a cellulosic ethanol company, today announced the acquisition of Celsys BioFuels, Inc. Celsys BioFuels was formed in 2006 to commercialize cellulosic ethanol production technology developed in the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering at Purdue University. The Celsys technology is based on proprietary pretreatment processes for multiple biomass feedstocks, including corn fiber and distiller grains. The technology was developed by Dr. Michael Ladisch, an internationally known leader in the field of renewable fuels and cellulosic biofuels. He will be taking a two-year leave of absence from Purdue University to join Mascoma as the company’s Chief Technology Officer. Business Wire - November 7, 2007.

    Bemis Company, Inc. announced today that it will partner with Plantic Technologies Limited, an Australian company specializing in starch-based biopolymers, to develop and sell renewably resourced flexible films using patented Plantic technology. Bemis - November 7, 2007.

    Hungary's Kalocsa Hõerõmû Kft is to build a HUF 40 billion (€158.2 million) straw-fired biomass power plant with a maximum capacity of 49.9 megawatts near Kalocsa in southern Hungary. Portfolio Hungary - November 7, 2007.

    Canada's Gemini Corporation has received approval to proceed into the detailed engineering, fabrication and construction phases of a biogas cogeneration facility located in the Lethbridge, Alberta area, the first of its kind whereby biogas production is enhanced through the use of Thermal Hydrolysis technology, a high temperature, high pressure process for the safe destruction of SRM material from the beef industry. The technology enables a facility to redirect waste material, previously shipped to landfills, into a valuable feedstock for the generation of electricity and thermal energy. This eliminates the release of methane into the environment and the resultant solids are approved for use as a land amendment rather than re-entering the waste stream. In addition, it enhances the biogas production process by more than 25%. Market Wire - November 7, 2007.

    A new Agency to manage Britain's commitment to biofuels was established today by Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly. The Renewable Fuels Agency will be responsible for the day to day running of the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation, coming into force in April next year. By 2010, the Obligation will mean that 5% of all the fuels sold in the UK should come from biofuels, which could save 2.6m to 3m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. eGov Monitor - November 5, 2007.

    Prices for prompt loading South African coal cargoes reached a new record last week with a trade at $85.00 a tonne free-on-board (FOB) for a February cargo. Strong Indian demand and tight supply has pushed South African prices up to record levels from around $47.00 at the beginning of the year. European DES/CIF ARA coal prices have remained fairly stable over the past few days, having traded up to a record $130.00 a tonne DES ARA late last week. Fair value is probably just below $130.00 a tonne, traders said. At this price, some forms of biomass become directly competitive with coal. Reuters Africa - November 4, 2007.

    The government of India's Harayana state has decided to promote biomass power projects based on gasification in a move to help rural communities replace costly diesel and furnace oil. The news was announced during a meeting of the Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (HAREDA). Six pilot plants have demonstrated the efficiency and practicability of small-scale biomass gasification. Capital subsidies will now be made available to similar projects at the rate of Rs 2.5 lakh (€4400) per 100 KW for electrical applications and Rs 2 lakh (€3500) per 300 KW for thermal applications. New Kerala - November 1, 2007.

Creative Commons License

Monday, November 19, 2007

Kenya to start biodiesel production from jatropha, yields 10,000 jobs

The first large scale commercial operation for the production of biodiesel in Kenya will get under way within six months according to Japanese investors who are investing 1.3 billion Shilling (€13.6/$19.9 million) into a first plantation. Biofuels are expected to decrease a catastrophic dependency on expensive foreign oil and to contribute significantly to the economy, in particular to farmers who will be growing the feedstocks.

Speaking at a press conference in Nairobi, Mitsuo Hayashi, chief executive officer of one of Japan's biggest biodiesel producers, Biwako Bio-Laboratory Ltd said the company plans to establish 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of oilseed-bearing Jatropha curcas trees, expanding them to 100,000 hectares (247,100 acres) within 10 years. When fully operational, the project will employ some 10,000 workers.

The initial investment, to be spread out over three years, will go into farm inputs and not machinery, which will have a separate capital expenditure and budget.
We have been in the country in the last few days doing a feasibility study and are assured of availability of land and human skills and plans to start operations within the next six months to a year. - MitsuoHayashi, Biwako Bio-Laboratory Inc.
The 30,000 hectare plantation will be able to support crude jatropha oil production for the manufacture of 200,000 tonnes of biodiesel per year. The CEO was accompanied by Yoshihisa Ohno, managing director of Japan's, Hydronet Energy Company, with whom they plan to jointly start the Kenyan operation. The team, which has been in the country for the last four days, held talks with several Kenyan Government officials and the private sector on the possibility of setting up the commercial operation.

The Japanese investors will cooperate with the Green Africa Foundation, Kenya's official lead agency responsible for coordinating the development of a viable biodiesel sector. The foundation has been conducting research into jatropha and has its own nurseries. Its focus is on capacity development of poor communities through a partnership approach that integrates environmental conservation and community livelihoods. According to the foundation's chairman, Isaac Kalua, the physical shortages of petrodiesel in Kenya and record prices have led to a winning case for the introduction of biodiesel.
Biodiesel is basically a tree borne oil and the best source of producing biodiesel is Jatropha curcas, a plant that grows well mainly in a tropical climate. We are introducing jatropha curcas as a source of biodiesel in Kenya because it is affordable and environment friendly. - Isaac Kalua, Green Africa Foundation
Kenya is an energy intensive developing country fully dependent on oil imports, which means it is feeling the devastating effects of high oil prices on all sectors of the economy. Price rises of the current magnitude imply, amongst other effects, a significant reduction of economic growth rates, an erosion of trade balances, rising unemployment, lower import capacity, the destruction of the effects of debt relief efforts, a hike in inflation rates and a blow to agricultural production and marketing (previous post and here).

Competitive biofuels can offset some of these problems. Kenya consumes around 55,000 barrels of oil per day. A single 200,000 tonne per year biodiesel plant would be able to replace slightly more than 5 per cent of this total amount - a significant proportion.

Kenya is a largely agrarian society, with 75 percent of its population employed in the farming sector, mostly as subsistence farmers. Even though one of Africa's medium-sized countries, and certainly not one of the future 'biofuel superpowers' found on the continent, Kenya has an abundance of potential arable land, estimated to be around 15.8 million hectares, of which it currently utilizes around 33 per cent:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

The Japanese investors have discussed their project with the Ministries of Agriculture, Energy and Regional Development, with the Kenya Investment Authority, TechnoServe Kenya, KenGen and the Green Africa Foundation. Kenya currently grows less than 5,000 hectares of the jatropha tree, which is not enough to support commercial production of the biodiesel.

For this reason, all focus is on establishing energy plantations first. Biwako plans to start with the establishment of tree plantations and will move on to an outgrowers scheme as happens with other major cash crops.

An official from the Kenya Investment Authority, Guracha Adi, said they would fast-track the paperwork and complete these formalities within a short while.
We know neighbouring countries are competing strongly to attract investors in biodiesel production hence we plan to retain a competitive edge over them - Guracha Adi, Kenya Investment Authority
Biwako, which has operations in Japan, The Philippines, Indonesia and Cambodia, says it is willing to assist Kenya in the formulation of a biodiesel policy and product standards.

: Kenyan researchers at the Green Africa Foundation's jatropha nursery in Kitui teach community leaders the basics of jatropha cultivation. Credit: Green Africa Foundation.

The Nation - Nairobi (via AllAfrica): Country Ready to Start Producing Biodiesel - November 19, 2007.

The East-African Standard (via AllAfrica): Japanese Firm Gives Sh1.3b for Bio-Fuels - November 19, 2007

Energy Current: Japan to embark on jatropha project in Kenya - November 19, 2007.

Green Africa Foundation: pictures of jatropha nurseries and trees.


mary anne said...

I never expect that these plant can produce money.Thank you for these information .These will give the filipino people to plant tuba tuba because this is very useful..Thank you very much.This will prosper me in the future.I may invest for this plantation.

9:59 AM  
IT Jobs in Davao City said...

Fuel is very demand in the market and yet we have experiencing fuel problem.Our market right now is implementing the increase of oil price hike.This is the headache of the filipinos. Everytime the fuel will increase our transportation also will increase.Atleast this plant is the substitute .We have to plant tuba tuba.

4:10 AM  
Fixed Carbon said...

How much profit do the Japanese investors need to pull off of the top to make this work? Unless the investment is basically a gift, petrol, or even importing coal, will be cheaper.

4:26 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home