Biofuel Briefs

C&I Issue 5, 2007

  • German tax on biodiesel saw a drop in output of 30-40%, according to biofuels association VDB. The tax was introduced in August 2006 to recover revenues lost from changing to biofuels. But falling fossil fuel prices have eroded biodiesel’s price advantage.
  • The US Department of Energy has awarded several cellulosic ethanol grants for the construction of biorefineries. The companies receiving grants include Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass, in Kansas; Alico, La Belle, Florida; Bluefire Ethanol, Southern California; Broin, Emmetsburg, Iowa; Iogen Biorefinery Partners, Shelley, Idaho; and Range Fuels, Soperton, Georgia.
  • One of the largest US biodiesel plants will come on stream this month in Galveston, Texas. Owned by Chevron, Standard Renewable Energy and a number of investors, the $10m plant, with a capacity expected to reach 110m gal/year by 2008, uses soybean oil as its feedstock.
  • US bioethanol production topped 4.86bn gal in 2006, up 24.3% on 2005, while demand rose 33% to 5.4bn gal.
  • A German joint venture, formed by Epuron, a subsidiary of Conergy; Agravis Raiffeisen, an agricultural cooperative; and MAN Ferrostaal, a subsidiary of the MAN engineering group; is to build a €130m, 200 000 L/year bioethanol plant in Buelstringen, eastern Germany, with completion scheduled for H1 2009.
  • Spanish biofuel producer Abengoa may close its biggest bioethanol plant in Salamanca, due to the high price of grain feedstock and problems with Repsol with which it has an offtake agreement. Abengoa has asked for mandatory blending of ethanol in gasoline. Biofuels account for only 0.6% of Spain’s transport requirements, and much of the country’s output is currently exported.

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