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    Mongabay, a leading resource for news and perspectives on environmental and conservation issues related to the tropics, has launched Tropical Conservation Science - a new, open access academic e-journal. It will cover a wide variety of scientific and social studies on tropical ecosystems, their biodiversity and the threats posed to them. Tropical Conservation Science - March 8, 2008.

    At the 148th Meeting of the OPEC Conference, the oil exporting cartel decided to leave its production level unchanged, sending crude prices spiralling to new records (above $104). OPEC "observed that the market is well-supplied, with current commercial oil stocks standing above their five-year average. The Conference further noted, with concern, that the current price environment does not reflect market fundamentals, as crude oil prices are being strongly influenced by the weakness in the US dollar, rising inflation and significant flow of funds into the commodities market." OPEC - March 5, 2008.

    Kyushu University (Japan) is establishing what it says will be the world’s first graduate program in hydrogen energy technologies. The new master’s program for hydrogen engineering is to be offered at the university’s new Ito campus in Fukuoka Prefecture. Lectures will cover such topics as hydrogen energy and developing the fuel cells needed to convert hydrogen into heat or electricity. Of all the renewable pathways to produce hydrogen, bio-hydrogen based on the gasification of biomass is by far both the most efficient, cost-effective and cleanest. Fuel Cell Works - March 3, 2008.

    An entrepreneur in Ivory Coast has developed a project to establish a network of Miscanthus giganteus farms aimed at producing biomass for use in power generation. In a first phase, the goal is to grow the crop on 200 hectares, after which expansion will start. The project is in an advanced stage, but the entrepreneur still seeks partners and investors. The plantation is to be located in an agro-ecological zone qualified as highly suitable for the grass species. Contact us - March 3, 2008.

    A 7.1MW biomass power plant to be built on the Haiwaiian island of Kaua‘i has received approval from the local Planning Commission. The plant, owned and operated by Green Energy Hawaii, will use albizia trees, a hardy species that grows in poor soil on rainfall alone. The renewable power plant will meet 10 percent of the island's energy needs. Kauai World - February 27, 2008.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

RWE npower Cogen to build $200 million, 45MW biomass CHP plant in Scotland

RWE npower Cogen announces it plans to build a 45MW biomass power plant at a papermaking site in Glenrothes, Scotland. Using combined heat and power (CHP) systems, the £100 million (€126m/$200m) plant will save 250,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from the Tullis Russell papermill. It will provide steam and electricity for the papermill under a long-term contract, while two thirds of the generated electricity will be fed into the Scottish power grid. That would be enough to power a city the size of Dundee, Scotland's fourth largest city with 150,000 inhabitants.

The new facility will replace Tullis Russell's existing coal-fired plant, which is to close because it no longer meets acceptable emissions standards set by SEPA. It will help the company avoid massive fluctuations in gas costs too, which have varied from £6,000 a day to as much as £50,000 a day - costs that have threatened the company's viability. Wood for the plant at the Markinch industrial estate is being provided by ScottishBiopower and Scottish Coal.

The project is being supported by the Scottish government to the tune of £8.1 million and is expected to create 30 new jobs, as well as safeguarding 540 jobs at the Tullis Russell mill. Additionally, about 300 construction jobs will be created.

According to Alex Salmond, Scotland's first minister, the project is a major investment for Scotland and complements the government's work to make Scotland a greener, wealthier and fairer place to live and do business in. The funding support has come under the Holyrood government's Regional Selective Assistance programme, which pays out in instalments provided certain job creation and expenditure criteria are met.

Tullis Russell's chief executive, Chris Parr, said replacing the company's existing coal-fired CHP plant with a facility running on renewable fuel would mean his paper business can supply greener paper products to its customers:
From a customer perspective, the move to biomass builds further upon our already strong environmental credentials. In addition to the significant reduction in our carbon dioxide emissions, much of the wood we are planning to use as fuel for the plant will be recovered wood that would otherwise go to landfill.

The plant will also provide opportunities to supply low grade heat for other local applications and these opportunities are being actively explored. - Chris Parr, CE Tullis Russell
RWE npower said that it hopes to have all necessary approvals in place by the end of this year, so that CHP plant could be operational in 2011:
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Our plans to build a CHP plant at the Tullis Russell paper mill form an important part of our wider strategy of reducing our carbon intensity, though investment in lower or zero carbon power generation sources. This project is an excellent example of how innovative energy technologies such as biomass can be deployed to help the UK energy industry - and individual businesses - to reduce their impact on the environment. - Phil Piddington, head of npower Cogen
RWE npower is a leading integrated UK energy business. It generates electricity and supplies gas, electricity and related services to around 6.8 million customers through its retail business npower. The company operates and manages a flexible portfolio of power stations, and its sister company RWE Innogy, is a market leader in renewable energy development.

RWE npower Cogen has more than 15 years experience developing and delivering CHP projects. With 11 plants in the UK and Republic of Ireland, it has more than 2,000MW of heat and power capacity and a wealth of experience in plant operations and management of CHP plants.

The Tullis Russell Group is an independent, wholly employee owned, papermaking and converting group. The group produces a wide range of high quality, engineered paper products, on four separate sites. Tullis Russell Papermakers Ltd is the oldest company in the Group and manufactures coated and uncoated graphical papers and boards, as well as a wide variety of electrical and speciality grades.

RWE npower: RWE npower Biomass Plant to Power 'Green' Paper Mill - July 18, 2008.

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