Earth Ethanol, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Earth Biofuels, Inc., today announced that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire majority interest in North Carolina-based Albemarle Biorefinery, Inc. of Raleigh, North Carolina. According to a Business Wire release, the company intends to build a state-of-the-art ethanol facility in the town of Jamesville, Martin County, North Carolina. Earth Biofuels produces and distributes biodiesel fuel through the company’s network of wholesale and retail outlets. The fuel is sold under country musician Willie Nelson’s brand name “BioWillie.”
Chuck is in Nashville this week and plans to visit with a guy he interviewed at the Indy 500. Brad Mayo is a “tuner” – he fine tunes street cars to make them run faster on ethanol blended fuel.
You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Brad about the finer aspects of fine tuning here: Brad Mayo Interview (5:14 min MP3)
Post Update: Here’s a picture of Brad’s car that he’s working on and it will be using ethanol.
As always, it’s a challenge to keep up with all the ethanol plants being opened, planned, expanded, etc. But, here’s some of the latest in a nutshell.
Illinois – Johnson Grain has announced it will build a 200 million gallon capacity plant near Springfield, IL (Belleville News Democrat-AP)
Minnesota – Highwater Ethanol, LLC is planning a 50 mgy plant in southwestern MN. (Grand Forks Herald-AP)
Iowa – Three plants proposed within 50 miles of Sioux City in “ethanol frenzy.” (KTIV news)
Colorado – Plans for at least four new ethanol production plants in Colorado are continuing despite the governor’s veto of an ethanol mandate bill. (Fort Morgan Times)
North Carolina – Groundbreaking for the ethanol-production facility near Aurora has been delayed until July because the plant is skipping the initial first phase and going to full capacity from the start. (Washington Daily News)
California – Shares of Pacific Ethanol were up in trading this week. (MSN-AP Business News)
Canada – A 150-million-litre ethanol plant costing between $115 million and $130 million is planned for Belle Plaine. (Star Phoenix)
Testimony of former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday has gotten quite a bit of news coverage, especially his comments about ethanol. In his written remarks to the committee, Greenspan said “Corn ethanol, though valuable, can play only a limited role, because its ability to displace gasoline is modest at best. But cellulosic ethanol, should it fulfill its promise, would help to wean us of our petroleum dependence, as could clean coal and nuclear power.” Google News Search lists over 300 articles related to Greenspan’s remarks mentioning ethanol.
Hello from the Country Music Association Music Festival in Nashville, TN. I’m here to blog it for New Holland, which is a sponsor, and featuring a celebrity tractor race on Sunday. You can see a lot more on our sister site, AgWired. It’s all part of a promotion with country music star Michael Peterson, pictured here with a Chevy-sponsored race truck that promotes E85 fuel.
Michael is a major alternative fuels advocate and New Holland is the first tractor company to warrant their equipment to run on an up to 20 percent blend of biodiesel.
The United States isn’t alone in taking government steps such as mandates, tariffs and tax incentives to get the renewable fuels business off the ground. Debate on such incentives is raging in Australia, according to ABC Online, which says New South Wales’ peak motoring body has blasted a Federal Government decision to increase the tax on home-grown ethanol and lower the cost of imported product. ABC also reports that some in the Australia parliment want to extend the current domestic ethanol industry protections until 2018 or “it’ll be the end of the domestic ethanol industry” since “oil companies have been dragging their feet for the last six years.”
The head of General Motors’ research and development says ethanol could be paving the way for the use of hydrogen in cars in the future. GM’s Lawrence Burns told Reuters Wednesday that encouraging farmers to grow corn or other grains that can be converted into clean-burning, renewable fuel creates a system that can he readily applied to generating hydrogen as well.
“Even some of the initial steps in the processing of the biomass — whether to make it hydrogen or ethanol — will be one and the same, so it is an important step toward an alternative pathway for energy,” he said.
“And it allows us to use our existing internal combustion engines as we transition to hydrogen in the future.”
Missouri Governor Matt Blunt made an ethanol mandate in the state one of his top priorities when elected. This year the legislature made that goal a reality – and now one of Blunt’s relatives is cashing in on the new state policy. According to the Columbia (MO) Tribune and other Missouri news sources, Andy Blunt, a lobbyist and political consultant who served as chairman of his brother’s 2004 gubernatorial campaign, confirmed yesterday that he is one of the founders of Central Missouri Biofuels LLC. The new company plans to invest in ethanol and biodiesel plants. Democrats in the state are making much ado about the connection, but Blunt says there is no conflict between his brother’s new business and the ethanol legislation he will soon sign into law.
The picture shown is of Governor Blunt at the opening of Mid-Missouri Energy one year ago this month.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and House Ag Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia today introduced a concurrent resolution in both houses of Congress calling for 25-percent of the nation’s total energy to come from renewable sources by the year 2025.
The 25X’25 plan has also gained the endorsement of numerous state legislators and Governors – as well as over 140 farm, forestry and environmental organizations and companies.
New research and commercial production methods to meet increased demand for biofuels will be one focus of the third annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing, to be held July 11-14, 2006 at the Toronto Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, according to a press release from the Biotechnology Industry Organization, or BIO. Sessions include: An International Perspective on Biofuels and Cellulosic Ethanol, 21st Century Biology for Biofuels Production, Building Infrastructure for the Biodiesel Industry, The Potential of Energy Crops and Biofuels: Perspectives from the Oil Industry. Registration information is available at bio.org.