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    Tasmania's first specialty biodiesel plant has been approved, to start operating as early as July. The Macquarie Oil Company will spend half a million dollars on a specially designed facility in Cressy, in Tasmania's Northern Midlands. The plant will produce more than five million litres of fuel each year for the transport and marine industries. A unique blend of feed stock, including poppy seed, is expected to make it more viable than most operations. ABC Rural - February 25, 2007.

    The 16th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition - From Research to Industry and Markets - will be held from 2nd to 6th June 2008, at the Convention and Exhibition Centre of FeriaValencia, Spain. Early bird fee registration ends 18th April 2008. European Biomass Conference & Exhibition - February 22, 2007.

    'Obesity Facts' – a new multidisciplinary journal for research and therapy published by Karger – was launched today as the official journal of the European Association for the Study of Obesity. The journal publishes articles covering all aspects of obesity, in particular epidemiology, etiology and pathogenesis, treatment, and the prevention of adiposity. As obesity is related to many disease processes, the journal is also dedicated to all topics pertaining to comorbidity and covers psychological and sociocultural aspects as well as influences of nutrition and exercise on body weight. Obesity is one of the world's most pressing health issues, expected to affect 700 million people by 2015. AlphaGalileo - February 21, 2007.

    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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Monday, February 25, 2008

Pakistani utility purchases 7MW of green cogenerated power based on sugarcane waste biogas

In a first for Pakistan, utility Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) has signed a power purchase agreement for 7 MW of green power to be provided by Shakarganj Sugar Mills, located at Jhang Faisalabad. Shakarganj will generate biogas from molasses, a waste product from sugarcane processing, to co-generate electricity and heat. The agreement was signed at the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) headquarters between Ahmed Saeed Akhter, CEO of FESCO and CEO Ahsan Saleem, CEO of Shakarganj Sugar Mills.

Shakarganj's is the first power plant in the subcontinent using renewable biomass to produce biogas for cogeneration purposes. The plant will not use any fossil fuel and as such offers the opportunity to be taken up as a project under the UN's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

PEPCO, as part of its strategy to bridge the gap between supply and demand of electricity and to promote alternative energies has offered a very attractive tariff for generation of power through biogas produced from molasses, which is directly derived from sugar mills. The benchmark set by PEPCO for such projects is Rs 5.14 (€0.055/US$ 0.082) per kWh.

The contract with Shakarganj Sugar Mills is part of continuous effort of PEPCO to search for local and cheaper fuel, as fossil fuel based electricity generation keeps getting more costly.

Even though small in terms of power capacity, the agreement finalized today is seen as a landmark achievement for Pakistan, as it is set to be replicated amongst the country's large number of sugar mills. PEPCO's managing director Munawar Baseer Ahmad has expressed the hope that all available surplus capacity within the sugar industry will be availed after this break-through and will help end Pakistan's worries over its energy security.

Sugarcane is a key agricultural sector in Pakistan, with the crop grown on around 1 million hectares, mainly in Punjab (62%), Sindh (26%) and the North West Frontier Province (16%). The sector employs more than 1 million people indirectly. Around 80 large sugar mills (map, click to enlarge)crush approximately 45 million tonnes of cane into finished products each year:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

PEPCO stressed that green power generation through biogas carries a number of advantages like opportunities to achieve Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project status and thus obtaining carbon credits; reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; and an opportunity, even for a developing country like Pakistan, to adhere to the spirit of the Kyoto Protocol. PEPCO will futher encourage other sugar mills interested in producing electricity from molasses because the technique is not only cost effective but also environment friendly.

According to the country's leading electricity company, biogas from molasses will help Pakistan reduce its increasing dependence on imported fuel oil and fast depleting locally available gas resources.

Pakistan's Secretary of the Ministry of Water and Power Resources, Muhammad Ismail Qureshi, added that this agreement is likely to bring out the large dormant capacity for local, renewable power generation from biomass, along with new green field projects. A feasibility study of the future energy role for the sugar industry in Pakistan will include co-generation of biogas produced from molasses.

Pakistan's Ministry of Water and Power earlier launched a policy and support scheme to facilitate the sugar industry into becoming a player in the energy sector, drawing on the maximal utilization of biomass resources.

FESCO distributes and supplies electricity to about 2.44 million customers within its service territory with a population of over 15.5 million under a Distribution License granted by National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA). The company's geographical service area comprises Faisalabad, Sargodha, Mianwali, Khushab, Jhang, Bhakker, T.T Singh districts.

Shakarganj Sugar Mills is one of Pakistan's larger sugar producers involved in creating a variety of products from sugar cane. In 2006 it produced around 130,000 tons of sugar, 80,000 tons of molasses and 35 million liters of ethanol. The company is diversifying into bioenergy production, focusing on both liquid biofuels and biomass based power.

Map: sugarcane mills in Pakistan. Credit: Pakistan Sugar Mills Association.

FESCO: PEPCO Finalizes a Unique Power Contract - [s.d.] February 24, 2008.

Pakistan Sugar Mills Association.

Qureshi, S. "Significance of sugar industry in national economy", Economic Review, July 2004.


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