Season greetings from our friends at ETA Florence, your partner in renewable energies.
BlueFire Renewables has received a Letter of Intent from the Export Import Bank of China to provide up to $270 million in debt financing for its bioenergy project located in Fulton, Mississippi. As advanced bioenergy companies struggle with private financing, BlueFire said the the financing is “unprecedented” and significant for the U.S. market.
“This is a significant feat, not just for BlueFire as it also provides a model for the U.S. small business community because it is a strong indication of China’s commitment to support and fund U.S. renewable energy technologies to improve the environment and build a strong foundation for cooperation between China and the U.S. in the field of renewable energy,” said Arnold Klann, CEO of BlueFire Renewables.
According to Klann, BlueFire has been working with China EXIM in response to the China Strategic and Economic Dialogue with the U.S. that encourages U.S./China cooperation in the renewable energy field including financing. Klann believes his company’s technology could be the path to commercialization for many languishing renewable energy projects.
“There are significant opportunities for replicating the BlueFire Fulton size or larger facilities in China and the U.S. to deal with problematic agricultural and urban waste currently being burned or buried,” added Klann. “Debt financing has been the most difficult part of the financing to obtain for the cellulosic biofuels industry. BlueFire’s business model and relationships with China EXIM will set the standard for future debt financing arrangements and could be the spark that leads to the more beneficial use of cellulosic wastes in the biofuels industry in the U.S. and China. We are cracking the code when it comes to striking a win-win business deal for China, the U.S. and energy consumers.”
The Letter of Intent continues the international collaboration between U.S. and China initiated by BlueFire. The companies will continue to work together to complete the standard due diligence procedures of the China EXIM bank and meet all credit criteria and condition precedent to reach definitive agreements in order to complete the financing as soon as possible. Once completed, China Three Gorges Corporation and its U.S. subcontractors will begin construction of the Fulton Project.
When you visit the ZimmComm New Media websites dedicated to agriculture, you will see a new integrated AgWired brand and new website names to better serve the animal agriculture segment of the industry.
WorldDairyDiary.com will now be known as Animal.Agwired.com, which will offer news and information about all segments of livestock and poultry. “We regularly cover events such as the International Production and Processing Expo, World Pork Expo, and national beef cattle meetings, in addition to World Dairy Expo,” said ZimmComm president Chuck Zimmerman. “We wanted to consolidate all of our animal agriculture coverage into one site to make it easier for our readers to access.”
PrecisionPays.com is now Precision.Agwired.com and will continue to include the latest news and information about precision agriculture, conservation, biotechnology and more. “Both websites (PrecisionPays and WorldDairyDiary) will remain accessible under the old URLs,” explained Zimmerman. “But they will now also be prominently featured on the AgWired.com home page.”
In addition, the AgWired App for the iOS and Android store has also been innovated and users can now create the AgWired App on their mobile device themselves. To do this, just visit AgWired.com on your mobile device of choice and a popup will ask if you want to create a desktop icon. AgWired will then open with a click of the app in a very user-friendly format. Full instructions are included in an instructional video on YouTube.
AgWired.com is ZimmComm’s flagship agribusiness news and information site, started in August of 2004. WorldDairyDiary began the following year and Precision Pays was started in February 2007. “The new design will provide consistency in the look of ZimmComm’s major agricultural websites,” Zimmerman added. energy.agwired.com, started in September 2005, will also sport a new look consistent with the other sites, but will remain under its current name. So keep an eye out for a DF Facelift as well.
Other ZimmComm online services of interest include AgNewsWire.com dedicated to news release distribution and audio combined from all websites and available to all agricultural media.
The ethanol industry knows that if it is going to be successful in the current political climate, they need to tell their personal ethanol stories. But this is easier said then done with the role of ethanol employees to produce fuel, feed and fiber – not be savvy communicators. With several requests for help last fall from ethanol plants to help tell the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) their stories as part of the 2014 proposed rules for the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), ethanol veteran Joshua Morby and alternative energy veteran and ZimmComm New Media writer Joanna Schroeder teamed up to form a unique partnership: Biofuel PR.
The new communications firm is the first and only of its kind dedicated to the biofuels industry and according to Biofuel PR Partner Joshua Morby, brings together expertise from two decades of experience working with ethanol trade associations, key stakeholders and legislators to offer the biofuel industry a new communications solution.
Morby notes that there are a number of effective national trade and industry organizations that are doing a great job developing messaging, framing the issues and providing content. But while the associations allow their members to utilize their materials in the local market, many ethanol plants just don’t know how.
“The challenge that exists is the missing link at the local level. There’s no argument about the need for activity in communities across the country. The issue has always been who at the biofuels plant is tasked with telling the local story. That’s where we come in,” says Joshua.
Not only is enhancing a biofuel plant’s message in the local community important, but DF blogger and communications expert Joanna Schroeder notes that as a writer looking for new and intriguing angles, its hard to find great personal ethanol stories. But when she does, they receive great coverage around the world of the web.
“If there is one thing I understand, it’s that the role of a biorefinery is to produce renewable, cost competitive biofuels and byproducts – not to be communication experts,” explains Schroeder, Biofuel PR partner. “Our firm is able to serve in this role and take the lead on telling Americans the personal and often emotional stories about what the biofuels industry means to them, their families and their communities. Since I am always looking for the story, I know how to help biofuel plants better tell their stories and as a result, help gain awareness and support for ethanol around the country.”
Granite Falls Ethanol was one of the plants assisted by Biofuel PR during the EPA comment period.
“The team at Biofuel PR was helpful to us in our efforts to motivate local supporters and members of our community during the RFS comment period,” says Granite Falls Ethanol General Manager Steve Christiansen. “Biofuel PR understands our industry, the local communities were we live and operate as well as the world of communications.”
Patriot Renewable Fuels LLC of Annawan, Illinois has purchased ICM’s patent-pending Selective Milling Technology (SMT). According to ICM, the technology increases ethanol yield, reduces viscosity and increases oil recovery. In addition, with the Patriot Renewable Fuels contract announcement, ICM and its partners have used this technology to increase ethanol yield to surpass more than one billion gallons of annual ethanol production.
“It gives us great pleasure to announce the purchase of our Selective Milling Technology by Patriot Renewable Fuels,” said ICM President Chris Mitchell. “Today we celebrate two milestones – the first which illustrates ICM’s ability to provide our customers with this technology towards increasing the yield of more than one billion gallons of annual ethanol production. The second milestone we celebrate is Patriot’s five year anniversary as an ethanol producer, and as a solid contributor to the economic growth of Annawan and the surrounding region. We’re thrilled to continue delivering this successful yield enhancement solution that can improve our customers’ bottom line and strengthen their communities.”
Patriot Renewable Fuels general manager Rick Vondra added, “Today, we are a 120 MGY producer that draws upon the strength of ICM’s revolutionary platform technology and the ability of SMT to increase our ethanol yields, increase oil recovery yields, and ultimately increase our revenues. With our 200 local/Midwestern investors, we’ll harness that strength and continue to make an impact on agriculture and economic development.”
The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) has announced the finalists for the GEA Honors, which recognize companies and individuals that have made significant contributions during the past year to advancing technology, spurring economic development and protecting the environment. Now in its third year, GEA also provides special recognition of companies and individuals who have made notable advances and achievements for geothermal energy.
“This diverse group of honorees is leading the development, financing and implementation of geothermal energy both within and outside the United States,” said GEA Executive Director Karl Gawell. “It takes a community of stakeholders to develop and operate a renewable, sustainable energy source. We at GEA are pleased to honor these companies and individuals for their contributions to this growing industry.”
GEA has named the finalists for GEA Honors in the following categories: Technological Advancement, Economic Development and Environmental Stewardship. GEA will announce a final winner in each category in December. Additionally, GEA will award the Special Recognition award to GEA or non-member companies or individuals making significant contributions to the geothermal energy industry.
Technological Advancement is awarded to an individual or company that has developed a new, innovative, or pioneering technology to further geothermal development. Finalists include: AltaRock Energy, SPX Heat Transfer LLC, and U.S. Geothermal’s 22 MW Neal Hot Springs Geothermal Power Plant.
Economic Development is awarded to an individual or company that has made a substantial contribution to the development of local, regional or national markets through the development of geothermal systems. Finalists include: GGE Chile and GeothermEx.
Environmental Stewardship is awarded to an individual or company that has fostered outstanding environmental stewardship through the use of geothermal systems. This award will be presented in conjunction with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI). Finalist is Dale Merrick with Canby Geothermal.
The Special Recognition Award is open to individuals or companies either within the GEA membership or beyond for outstanding achievement in the geothermal industry. This award will be announced later this year when the winners in the categories above are announced.
Click here for more information about the finalists.
Two POET biorefineries in Ohio are installing liquefied carbon dioxide facilities on site.
POET Biorefining – Marion and POET Biorefining – Fostoria will be operating in the Greater Ohio Valley liquid carbon dioxide marketplace. The plants will be able to serve the traditional food freezing and beverage carbonation markets as well as secure new carbon dioxide customers.
“One of our priorities at POET is to get the most value from the corn kernel,” POET Biorefining – Marion General Manager Cliff Brannon said. “We don’t just produce biofuel here. We produce Dakota Gold high-protein animal feed, Voila corn oil and more. We’re excited to add carbon dioxide to that list.”
With the latest two plants coming online this year, nine POET plants will be producing liquefied carbon dioxide.
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. has issued a ruling affirming the May 2012 decision of Judge Barbara Crabb of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin that the Novozymes patent on an alpha-amylase enzyme used in the ethanol industry is invalid for lack of an adequate written description.
Ms. Soonhee Jang, vice president, IP Strategy and Chief IP Counsel, DuPont Industrial Biosciences said of the decision, “We are gratified the Court of Appeals affirmed the Wisconsin court’s ruling that the Novozymes patent is invalid. From the outset of this case, we have firmly believed Novozymes’ patent to be invalid. Today, the Court of Appeals recognized our rights in the marketplace as a true innovator providing customers with choices.”
U.S. based financial investor Kawa Capital Management has announced it intends to acquire the majority of sales units from Conergy as well as necessary associated administrative, management and infrastructure functions of Conergy AG, including the “Conergy” brand. Production subsidiaries Mounting Systems GmbH and Conergy SolarModule GmbH & Co. KG are not part of this transaction.
Kawa, the Conergy Management Board and the preliminary insolvency administrator have signed a letter of intent. The parties intend to finalize the details of the envisaged transaction and the purchase agreement in the next four weeks. The purchase agreement is expected to be executed in the second half of August, subject to a number of conditions precedent including the approval of Conergy’s creditor committee.
“Kawa is our preferred partner. We have been in intense negotiations about an investment in Conergy for months and have agreed on the future concept for Conergy already a long time ago,” said Conergy CEO Dr. Philip Comberg. “Our expertise is highly complementary. In the last two years we have consistently focused Conergy on our strengths in international sales and services. At the same time, we have developed new financing and asset management services.”
Comberg continued, “With this setup, Conergy is ideally suited for the future challenges in the global solar growth markets. We want to sustainably implement this ‘downstream strategy’ in the international solar markets with a strong financial and strategic partner who is investing in the company for the long term. Kawa’s financing and structuring capabilities combined with Conergy’s global platform, track record and unparalleled expertise in downstream solar PV creates a unique and leading market player.”
Kawa’s objective is to acquire the two German entities Conergy Deutschland GmbH and Conergy Services GmbH as well as the subsidiaries in the U.S. and Canada, Singapore and Thailand, Australia, Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Cyprus and the United Kingdom. Continue reading