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    A bioethanol plant with a capacity of 150 thousand tons per annum is to be constructed in Kuybishev, in the Novosibirsk region. Construction is to begin in 2009 with investments into the project estimated at €200 million. A 'wet' method of production will be used to make, in addition to bioethanol, gluten, fodder yeast and carbon dioxide for industrial use. The complex was developed by the Solev consulting company. FIS: Siberia - February 19, 2007.

    Sarnia-Lambton lands a $15million federal grant for biofuel innovation at the Western Ontario Research and Development Park. The funds come on top of a $10 million provincial grant. The "Bioindustrial Innovation Centre" project competed successfully against 110 other proposals for new research money. London Free Press - February 18, 2007.

    An organisation that has established a large Pongamia pinnata plantation on barren land owned by small & marginal farmers in Andhra Pradesh, India is looking for a biogas and CHP consultant to help research the use of de-oiled cake for the production of biogas. The organisation plans to set up a biogas plant of 20,000 cubic meter capacity and wants to use it for power generation. Contact us - February 15, 2007.

    The Andersons, Inc. and Marathon Oil Corporation today jointly announced ethanol production has begun at their 110-million gallon ethanol plant located in Greenville, Ohio. Along with the 110 million gallons of ethanol, the plant annually will produce 350,000 tons of distillers dried grains, an animal feed ingredient. Marathon Oil - February 14, 2007.

    Austrian bioenergy group Cycleenergy acquired controlling interest in Greenpower Projektentwicklungs GmbH, expanding its biomass operational portfolio by 16 MW to a total of 22 MW. In the transaction Cycleenergy took over 51% of the company and thereby formed a joint venture with Porr Infrastruktur GmbH, a subsidiary of Austrian construction company Porr AG. Greenpower operates two wood chip CHP facilities in Upper and Lower Austria, each with an electric capacity of 2 MW. The plants have been in operation since the middle of last year and consume more than 30,000 tonnes of wood chips and are expected to generate over €5 million in additional revenue. Cycleenergy - February 6, 2007.

    The 2008 edition of Bioenergy World Europe will take place in Verona, Italy, from 7 to 10 February. Gathering a broad range of international exhibitors covering gaseous, liquid and solid bioenergy, the event aims to offer participants the possibility of developing their business through meetings with professionals, thematic study tours and an international forum focusing on market and regulatory issues, as well as industry expertise. Bioenergy World Europe - February 5, 2007.

    The World GTL Summit will take place between 12 – 14th May 2008 in London. Key topics to be discussed include: the true value of Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) projects, well-to-wheels analyses of the GTL value chain; construction, logistics and procurement challenges; the future for small-scale Fischer-Tropsch (FT) projects; Technology, economics, politics and logistics of Coal-to-Liquids (CTL); latest Biomass-to-Liquids (BTL) commercialisation initiatives. CWC Exhibitions - February 4, 2007.

    The 4th Annual Brussels Climate Change Conference is announced for 26 - 27 February 2008. This joint CEPS/Epsilon conference will explore the key issues for a post-Kyoto agreement on climate change. The conference focuses on EU and global issues relating to global warming, and in particular looks at the following issues: - Post-2012 after Bali and before the Hokkaido G8 summit; Progress of EU integrated energy and climate package, burden-sharing renewables and technology; EU Emissions Trading Review with a focus on investment; Transport Climatepolicy.eu - January 28, 2007.

    Japan's Marubeni Corp. plans to begin importing a bioethanol compound from Brazil for use in biogasoline sold by petroleum wholesalers in Japan. The trading firm will import ETBE, which is synthesized from petroleum products and ethanol derived from sugar cane. The compound will be purchased from Brazilian petrochemical company Companhia Petroquimica do Sul and in February, Marubeni will supply 6,500 kilolitres of the ETBE, worth around US$7 million, to a biogasoline group made up of petroleum wholesalers. Wholesalers have been introducing biofuels since last April by mixing 7 per cent ETBE into gasoline. Plans call for 840 million liters of ETBE to be procured annually from domestic and foreign suppliers by 2010. Trading Markets - January 24, 2007.

    Toyota Tsusho Corp., Ohta Oil Mill Co. and Toyota Chemical Engineering Co., say it and two other firms have jointly developed a technology to produce biodiesel fuel at lower cost. Biodiesel is made by blending methanol into plant-derived oil. The new technology requires smaller amounts of methanol and alkali catalysts than conventional technologies. In addition, the new technology makes water removal facilities unnecessary. JCN Network - January 22, 2007.

    Finland's Metso Paper and SWISS COMBI - W. Kunz dryTec A.G. have entered a licence agreement for the SWISS COMBI belt dryer KUVO, which allows biomass to be dried in a low temperature environment and at high capacity, both for pulp & paper and bioenergy applications. Kauppalehti - January 22, 2007.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Laidlaw Energy converts old paper mill into 65MW biomass plant, revives local economy

Renewable energy is often said to be costly compared with fossil fuels. But with record energy prices, this is changing rapidly. What is more, now that an almost level playing field is emerging, the many potential social benefits of renewable energy projects become apparent. Renewables are job generating machines (see the IEA's renewable energy job calculator). Given their decentralisable nature, green energy projects can often revive the economies of regions that are facing economic hardship. An interesting example comes from Northern New Hampshire. There, Laidlaw Berlin, LLC, an affiliate of Laidlaw Energy group, Inc., has agreed to acquire the former Fraser Paper Mill located in Berlin, with the objective of converting and upgrading the facility infrastructure in order to construct a 65 megawatt biomass-energy power plant.

The Northern region of New Hampshire where the facility is situated has experienced significant economic hardship over the last few years, due to the closure of several pulp and paper mills resulting in the loss of approximately 1,000 jobs. The pulp and paper mill closures have resulted not only in the loss of direct jobs but also in a substantial reduction of biomass consumption, thus having a significant adverse effect on the regional economy. The Berlin Project will help to reverse this trend by investing over US$20 million per annum into the regional economy for biomass fuel purchases.

By reclaiming the old infrastructure and turning it into a renewable energy power plant, direct jobs are created at the biomass plant, and approximately 500 indirect jobs emerge in the feedstock supply sector. Since the plant will utilize both forestry residues and recycled wood, employment is generated in these segments of the local economy. Further opportunities arise in the transport and infrastructure sector needed to make the plant work.

The Berlin biomass-energy project will be one of the largest and most environmentally sound biomass-energy facilities in the United States. It is expected to utilize in excess of 700,000 tons of clean whole tree wood chips per year in order to generate approximately 65 megawatts of green electricity:
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The fuel source for the Berlin Project will be whole tree wood chips and other low-grade wood, which are the byproducts of the local forest products industry and land management practices. Generally, whole tree chips are produced from trees unsuitable for use in lumber or paper mills, or from the tops and branches of trees harvested for lumber. Other clean wood products, such as wood residue from sawmills, is also suitable for fuel. Biomass fuel will be trucked to the facility in 20 ton live bottom trailers. The Facility also has rail access which may offer opportunities for cheap fuel from other regions (e.g., storm debris from the Southern U.S.).

Among the key assets to be acquired by Laidlaw is the facility's Babcock & Wilcox boiler, which was installed in 1993 at a cost of nearly $100 million. The B&W boiler, with a steam capacity of about 600,000 lbs per hour after biomass conversion, will be converted for Laidlaw by B&W pursuant to a fixed price contact with standard and customary completion and performance guarantees.

B&W intends to install a bubbling fluidized bed in the boiler, which represents the current state-of-the-art in low admission, advanced biomass combustion. B&W has completed a feasibility study confirming this approach. B&W is also expected to provide and guarantee the back-end emissions controls for the boiler to ensure compliance with New Hampshire Renewable Portfolio Standards, thus ensuring the Berlin Project's ability to sell its renewable attributes, known as "RECs".

The existing infrastructure at the old mill provides a significant advantage in terms of the work involved in the construction of the the Berlin project as compared with a "Greenfield" project - a new power plant built from scratch. The key elements of the upgrades required to be made to the facility are (1) the installation of the bubbling fluidized bed in the existing B&W boiler, (2) the installation of the back-end emissions equipment for RPS compliance, (3) the construction of a turbine building and installation of the steam turbine generator, and (4) the construction of the fuel yard and installation of wood handling equipment (some of which already exists at the facility).

In 2007, New Hampshire signed into law a state Renewable Portfolio Standard ("RPS"), which requires that utilities obtain 25% of their energy supply from renewable resources by 2025, with an annually increasing minimum requirements starting in 2008 until the 25% requirement is met in 2025. Utilities meet their legislative mandate by purchasing RECs from renewable generators or by paying into the state-established Renewable Energy Fund at a default rate per megawatt hour known as the "Alternative Compliance Payment". Laidlaw is currently at an advanced stage of negotiations with a local utility concerning a 15 - 20 year power purchase agreement for 100% of the Berlin project's power output, RECs and capacity.

Laidlaw announced today that it has filed an application with the operator of the New England power grid, ISO New England, for the interconnection the bienergy project. This is a significant milestone in the development process of the project.

Separately, Laidlaw announced that the 30 day appeal period in connection with the January 10, 2008, unanimous approval for the subdivision of the former Fraser pulp mill site in Berlin to be acquired by Laidlaw has expired without any appeals. This paves the way for the imminent closing of acquisition and related financing. Laidlaw is currently in the process of finalizing these arrangements.

Laidlaw has a vision to take things further: ultimately, the old industrial site should become a 'Bioenergy Commerce' park, where bioproducts manufacturers and researchers can come together and integrate their activities in a 'cascading' resource model. In such a model, waste from one renewable products process becomes feedstock for another process.

Business Wire: Laidlaw Berlin, N.H. Biomass Energy Project Files for Interconnection to New England Power Grid - February 20, 2008.

Laidlaw Energy: Berlin Biomass Power Project overview.

Laidlaw Energy: Berlin Biomass Project Questions and Answers [*.pdf].

Laidlaw Energy: The Laidlaw Berlin Bio-Commerce Park [*.pdf].

Biopact: Renewable energy jobs calculator - August 07, 2007.


Blogger rufus said...

Team, This is something your readers need to know a little about.

Oil Supply stalled

1. A sense of urgency is appropriate, and

2. Don't let the "perfect" be the enemy of the "Good."

p.s. you did an article a couple of weeks ago regarding a process of converting CO2, and (sodium bicarbonate ?) into a very positive "soil amendment." Can you direct me to it? Thanks.

5:38 PM  

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