#Ethanol Groups Disappointed in European Appeal on Duties

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

rfalogo1The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy are disappointed with today’s decision by the European Commission (EC) to file an appeal with the EU General Court related to its ruling two months ago invalidating certain ethanol duties.

The EC had approximately two months from the June 9 court ruling to appeal. That ruling annulled the European Union’s 9.5 percent antidumping duty on ethanol imported from the United States produced by entities that had been selected as part of a sample group in an antidumping investigation. During the appeal process, the duty which has been in place since February 2013 will remain on ethanol generated by these producers and all other American ethanol entering the European Union.

“While not surprising, we are disappointed with EC’s decision,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “The antidumping duty should have never been assessed and is only hurting European consumers by shutting out the lowest-cost ethanol in the world. We will continue to fight to ensure the duty is removed.”

growth-energy-logo1Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy added, “The ongoing resistance of the EC is frustrating. Their willingness to continue to pursue an unprecedented, protectionist agenda will only delay the inevitable outcome, absolving U.S. ethanol producers from any false claims of anti-dumping. We will continue to pursue all options to fight this unfounded complaint, and are confident we will be vindicated.”

Growth Energy and RFA filed a joint complaint in May 2013 outlining violations by the European Commission claiming that it effectively shut out U.S. ethanol producers from accessing the European market.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, Growth Energy, RFA

Enerkem Biomethanol Receives ISCC Certification

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Enerkem’s facility in Edmonton becomes the first ISCC certified plant in the world to convert municipal solid waste into biomethanol. Photo: CNW Group/ENERKEM INC.

Enerkem’s facility in Edmonton becomes the first ISCC certified plant in the world to convert municipal solid waste into biomethanol. Photo: CNW Group/ENERKEM INC.

Canadian waste-to-bioproducts producer Enerkem has announced that it has received certification from the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) system for biomethanol production from its biorefinery Alberta Biofuels located in Edmonton, Canada. According to the company, this facility is the first ISCC certified plant in the world to convert municipal solid waste in biomethanol.

This reputable third-party certification confirms that Enerkem meets high ecological and social sustainability requirements. Enerkem already sells its biomethanol as a renewable chemical in North America and, with the ISCC certification, we are now adding flexibility to export it as a biofuel in Europe,” said Tim Cesarek, senior vice president of business development. “With the addition of a biomethanol-to-ethanol conversion module in the second half of 2016, this biorefinery will also become the first to sell multiple renewable fuel and chemical products made from waste.

Biofuels used in Europe, such as biomethanol and ethanol, must prove, through third-party certification under an approved certification scheme such as ISCC EU, that they comply with stringent criteria in terms of greenhouse gas savings, sustainability and traceability of the entire supply chain and are compliant with the European Renewable Energy Directive. Under the RED, all EU countries must ensure that at least 10 percent of their transport fuels come from renewable sources by 2020. The RED also gives waste-based biofuels, such as Enerkem’s methanol and ethanol, the advantage to count double towards this 10 percent requirement.

advance biofuels, bioproducts, methanol, Waste-to-Energy

Mark Your Calendar for the 2016 Energy Conference

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Mark your calendar for the 2016 Energy Conference taking place in Des Moines, Iowa September 19-21, 2016. The event brings together public and private entities to discuss energy policy, climate change (carbon credits) and to network. According to event planners the purpose of the event is to “create profit-driven opportunities that accomplish the goals of an energy independent future for America.”

2016 Energy Conference logoOn the docket are in-depth discussions about marketing and retailing of alternative fuels including biodiesel and ethanol.  These conversations will include information about existing fuel supply opportunities, alternative fuel choices and grant incentive programs available for new equipment and infrastructure. There will also be workshops on federal and state policies with perspectives from key players on what to expect in the next two years.

The 2016 program will include Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds; John Eichberger, executive director of The Fuels Institute; Larry Pearce, executive director of the Governors’ Wind and Solar Energy Coalition; Douglas S. Haugh, president of Mansfield Oil Co.; Jeremy Bezdek, vice president of biofuels and ingredients at Flint Hills Resources; Karyn Jones, chief operations officer of EcoEngineers; Jeff Hove, vice president of RINAlliance; and Zander Capozzola, editor of the Argus Americas Biofuels report; to name just a few.

According to conference host Dawn Carlson, president and CEO of the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa, the 2016 Energy Conference is about focusing attention on profitable operations and growth for today’s technology and tomorrow’s innovators.

Whether you are concerned about supply contract terms and conditions, which include RIN credit and IRS blender credit valuation, or you’re simply looking for competitive sources of alternative fuels, the 2016 Energy Conference will help you identify solutions,” Carlson said. “We were excited to secure sponsors like the RINAlliance, Renewable Energy Group, EcoEngineers, DuPont Pioneer, and NATSO, to name just a few. We also appreciate the strong support of BBI International and Fuel Marketer News for their interest in this national energy event.

Click here to register or to view the technical session agenda and list of speakers for the 2016 Energy Conference.

advance biofuels, Alternative energy, Biodiesel, conferences, Ethanol

Group from Taiwan Learns About U.S. DDGs

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Taiwan is the seventh largest U.S. ag export market and the sixth for corn so a trip to the U.S. to learn about corn and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGs) was successful for a group of grain buyers from the country. The participants visited Indiana and Michigan and learned about production, application, grading and quality standards. In addition, the group headed home armed with the knowledge to better handle, procure and store corn and DDGs.

The trip was organized by the U.S. Grains Council who reported that in 2015, Taiwan imported 1.84 million metric tons of corn with 95 percent of the total used for animal feed in the swine and poultry sectors.

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) office in Taiwan had consultant Jerry Shurson, a professor at the University of Minnesota, visit the country late last month to bolster their ongoing efforts to promote the use of low-oil U.S. distiller's dried grain with solubles (DDGS) in poultry rations.

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) office in Taiwan had consultant Jerry Shurson, a professor at the University of Minnesota, visit the country late last month to bolster their ongoing efforts to promote the use of low-oil U.S. distiller’s dried grain with solubles (DDGS) in poultry rations.

“DDGS use is growing in Taiwan. Currently, the inclusion rate is low, and we’re trying to encourage producers to increase that percentage to create better quality feed,” said Clover Chang, Taiwan office director at the U.S. Grains Council, the sponsor of this week’s team travel.

In order to facilitate this process and encourage confidence in U.S. corn and DDGS purchases, the group took part in several learning and information sharing opportunities. The trip began in Indiana, where the team visited Purdue University to learn about soil and crop management techniques as well as performance evaluation for corn and soybeans. This included a look into technological and industry standards geared towards quality, an important factor in buying decisions. In addition, the group visited the Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation and Phenotyping Center to supplement this knowledge and see research in crop productivity in action, and a transportation facility to see the logistic involved in grain shipping.

When in Michigan, the group visited a poultry farm and feed mill operations, and an ethanol plant where DDGs are produced. Chang noted that while Taiwan is still in the early stages of ethanol research, the visit gave attendees the opportunity to see how ethanol could be used in the future. He added that the trip also enabled the participants to learn how technology is being applied across agriculture to improve quality and efficiency.

Chang concluded, “The Council continues to work to find ways to promote ethanol in Taiwan. This was a great opportunity for stakeholders to see how valuable it can be.

corn, Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Exports, USGC

Green Plains Opens #Ethanol Plant in Virginia

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Green Plains Inc. hosted a ribbon cutting and open house event at its new Hopewell, Virginia ethanol production facility which the company acquired in October 2015.

NCGA president Chip Bowling (left center) at Green Plains Virginia ethanol plant

NCGA president Chip Bowling (left center) at Green Plains Virginia ethanol plant

Among those in attendance at the celebration was National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chip Bowling who farms corn, soybeans, and sorghum just 100 miles away in Newburg, Maryland.

“We are excited to see ethanol production back up and running in Virginia,” said Bowling. “The Hopewell plant will give Mid-Atlantic farmers another market for their crop. It’s good for the ag economy, and for consumers, who will now have access to renewable fuels grown and produced even closer to home. This is win-win.”

The Hopewell ethanol facility, which opened in April 2014, was the first ethanol operation on the East Coast, producing ethanol from corn, barley, and other small grains. The facility stopped production in August 2015 and was bought by Nebraska-based Green Plains in October. Green Plains also announced this week that it was the successful bidder on three ethanol plants for sale by Abengoa Bioenergy conducted under the provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The company will purchase the Madison, Ill., Mount Vernon, Ind. and York, Neb. ethanol facilities, with combined annual production capacity of 236 million gallons per year, for approximately $237 million in cash.

“We continue to focus on making strategic investments in high quality assets as we expand our production footprint,” said Todd Becker, president and chief executive officer at Green Plains. “The Madison and Mount Vernon plants will give us access to the Mississippi River, supporting our new export terminal planned in Beaumont, Texas. In addition, we will broaden our product offering globally with industrial alcohol production at the York plant. These acquisitions further our commitment to deliver long-term value for both Green Plains Inc. and Green Plains Partners shareholders.”

Upon completion of the acquisitions, Green Plains will own and operate 17 dry mill ethanol facilities with combined production capacity of nearly 1.5 billion gallons per year.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, NCGA, Production

U.S. Navy, Queensland Create Biofuel R&D Partnership

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

The U.S. Navy has entered into a partnership with Queensland and Palaszczuk Government to develop a biofuel R&D center. The facility will become the biofuel hub of the Asia-Pacific region. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and United States Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy for Management Thomas Hicks signed a Statement of Cooperation as part of the Great Green Fleet initiative, a qg-coa-printprogram to source 50 percent of fuel from renewable sources by 2020.

This is a huge vote of confidence in our developing biofuels industry and puts Queensland in the box seat to supply the Pacific fleet,” said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.  “The partnership we have signed with the US Navy underlines the huge potential to build a new industry that will make Queensland the biofuel hub of the Asia Pacific. I have long been talking about the need to diversify our economy, create new industries, and lock in the next wave of long-term, export-orientated job opportunities. The signing of this partnership between Queensland and the US Department of the Navy is a giant stride towards reaching those goals.”

The initiative was first discussed between Ms. Palaszczuk and Hicks during a meeting at the U.S. Pentagon in June 2015. To date the Palaszczuk Government has dedicated almost $20 million in four funds to stimulate key areas of the state’s industrial biotechnology and bioproducts sector and launched a 10-year Roadmap to develop the industry.

Since then, there have been significant advances in the development of an industry that I believe will be a huge player in our economic future,” she explained. “We have also been able to lure Southern Oil Refining from NSW and the $16 million pilot plant they are building at Yarwun has a key role to play in this emerging giant of an industry.”

The agreement, signed at a Parliament House ceremony, outlines the parties’ commitment to explore the research, development, supply and sale of advanced “drop-in” alternative fuels.

advance biofuels, Biodiesel, military

#Oil Industry Report Ignores #Biofuel Climate Benefits

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

A new study has been released out of the University of Michigan Energy Institute led by anti-biofuel Professor John DeCicco. The report challenges the assumption that biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, are inherently carbon neutral. The study, based on USDA crop-production data, finds that during the period of increased biofuel growth, the increased carbon dioxide uptake by the crops was only enough to offset 37 percent of the CO2 emissions. The cause? The report says biofuel combustion. The study was published online today in the journal Climate Change, and was funded by the American Petroleum Institute (API).

The biofuels industry was quick to respond.

rfalogo1“This is the same study, same flawed methodology, and same fallacious result that Professor DeCicco has churned out multiple times in the past. He has been making these arguments for years, and for years they have been rejected by climate scientists, regulatory bodies and governments around the world, and reputable lifecycle analysis experts,” said Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen.

He continued, “As crazy as it sounds, Prof. DeCicco is essentially suggesting that plants ultimately used for bioenergy don’t absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow. In other words, he and his sponsors at the API are arguing that the scientific community’s centuries-old understanding of photosynthesis and plant biology is wrong. DeCicco’s assertion that plants somehow emit more carbon when burned as fuel than they take in from the atmosphere during photosynthesis defies the most basic laws of plant physiology.

“Just like Prof. DeCicco’s last study, this work was funded by the API, which obviously has a vested interest in obscuring and confusing accepted bioenergy carbon accounting practices. It’s a bit like the tobacco industry funding a study that says bubble gum is worse for the human body than cigarettes. While it’s flattering that API has taken such an interest in the climate benefits of biofuels, the public would be better served if the oil industry spent its time and money examining and owning up to the very real — and very negative — climate impacts of petroleum.”

growth-energy-logo1Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, also responded to the study. “Overwhelmingly, objective research demonstrates that biofuels are among the best tools we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat the effects of climate change. The latest attacks from John DeCicco and his sponsors in the oil industry reflect the same bogus arguments they have made for years, and policymakers aren’t going to be fooled. As the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory has demonstrated, ethanol is an earth-friendly biofuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 34 percent over their its lifecycle, while advanced biofuels can reduce emissions by 100 percent or more over conventional gasoline.”Read More

Biodiesel, biofuels, Ethanol, Growth Energy, RFA

Which Candidate is Best for #Biofuels?

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine at the Iowa State Fair with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine at the Iowa State Fair with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

The Iowa State Fair was a lot quieter this year politically. Last year the fair played host to a total of 20 presidential candidates of both parties last summer while this year it was only the vice presidential candidates of the two major party nominees who visited the butter cow and ate pork with Hawkeye State political figures. Does that mean the candidates have forgotten their biofuels friends in the Midwest?

“Both candidates spent quite a bit of time in Iowa up to the Iowa caucuses the first of February,” said Monte Shaw with the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. “In the general election, they kind of fly in, they do a big rally with thousands of people, and they fly out.”

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton showed love to the ethanol industry during the primaries and Shaw says the ethanol industry is already working with both sides. “So whichever candidate wins, they’ll have this team that helps them transition into office and we’re communicating as an industry with both those teams,” said Shaw.

Republican VP candidate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, with Iowa Governor Terry Branstad

Republican VP candidate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, with Iowa Governor Terry Branstad

Shaw believes the Congressional elections are as important, if not more so, than who becomes president. “We will have to keep our eyes on Congress,” he said. “After all, the RFS is the law of the land. For it to be modified or hurt, it would take an act of Congress.”

In this interview, Shaw also talks about attending the upcoming tour of Quad County Corn Processors with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Gov. Terry Branstad where the discussion will include the need for an RVP waiver for E15 and ethanol’s ability to add octane for high compression engines. Interview with Monte Shaw, Iowa RFA

Audio, Cellulosic, Ethanol, Iowa RFA, politics

Texas A&M Offers Biofuel Short Course

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

A short course is being offered by the Processing Engineering R&D Center entitled, “Practical Short Course on Plant Operations and Process Engineering for Solvent Biofuel Facilities“. The Center is part of Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and is taking place October 16-19, 2016 at Texas A&M University, located in College Station, Texas. As part of the course, students will have access to live demonstrations held at pilot plants where they will see processing equipment in action.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 11.36.26 AMThis course will focus on the fundamentals of the infrastructure, equipment, and process engineering unit operations required for success in modern, efficient, agricultural processing facilities,” said course organizer Rich Clough. “This will be helpful to new personnel as well as veterans in the industry. These folks may work in crush plants, fuel ethanol or biodiesel plants, corn wet/dry milling, or sugar beet operations. The common thread is that everyone from this sector deals with electrical power, PLCs, steam distribution, heat exchange, separations, conveyance systems, logistics and so on. We are fortunate to have a loyal lineup of instructors who are industry experts each with a career’s-worth of knowledge and experience to teach our attendees.

There are several goals of the course including enabling students to receive comprehensive training in plant operations as well as to learn about and receive hands-on training in process engineering. In addition, participants will learn about emerging extraction/solvent plant and biofuel technologies. The course is geared towards supervisors and processing personnel from extraction plants, refineries, fuel ethanol and biodiesel plants, and individuals from other ag processing facilities interested in learning more about plant operations and process engineering.

Everyone enjoys the demos, even experienced processors,” added Clough. “It’s exciting because some of our participants are seeing some types of equipment for the first time, and even our seasoned operators often learn something new.

Biodiesel, biofuels, Education, Ethanol

#Ethanol Safety Seminars Scheduled

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

EERC logoMore free ethanol safety seminars are on the docket taking place in Nebraska and Connecticut. Hosted by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), attendees will learn proper training techniques that emergency responders and hazmat personnel need to effectively respond to an ethanol-related emergency. Certificates of Completion will be handed out to all attendees at the end of each safety seminar. The safety seminars are free and open to the public.

The Nebraska seminar will be held on Saturday, August 27, 2916 in Norfolk, from 9:00 am- 2:00 p CT, at the Lifelong Learning Center, Rooms C & D. The seminar will be held with help from an Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training (ALERT) grant.

Additionally, there will be two seminars held in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, on Aug. 30, from 9:00 am–2:00 pm ET and from 5:30–10:00 pm ET. The event, held at the Connecticut Fire Academy, will be held with a grant from TRANSCAER and the Federal Railroad Administration.

“Safety is our number one goal, and these ethanol seminars provide excellent training for first responders and others who wants to attend,” said Steve Kramer, interim fire coordinator at Western Tech in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. “As a previous ethanol safety seminar attendee, these events are well worth the time.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, safety