Leaner, Meaner, Greener

Cindy Zimmerman

GreenshiftMeangreenGreenShift Corporation has announced the consolidation of its various biofuels companies into a restructured Mean Green BioFuels Corporation. According to a company release, GreenShift’s investments in BioEnergy Engineering, LLC and Ethanol Oil Recovery Systems, LLC, were transferred into Mean Green along with Mean Green Biodiesel of Tennessee, Inc.
Mean Green’s business model is based on the production of biodiesel out of soy bean oil; animal fats procured from rendering operations; corn oil extracted from ethanol facilities and animal fats derived from dissolved air flotation wastewater sludges.
Mean Green plans to aggressively invest in its brand as it promotes the use of biofuels in America with the objective of offsetting the demand for fossil fuels while reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions directly in the trenches — in as many diesel burning trucks, tractors, other heavy equipment and industrial facilities as possible.

Biodiesel, Ethanol, Production

Market Reacts to Ethanol Talk

Cindy Zimmerman

Deere Agco All this ethanol talk was good for business on Wednesday. Shares for farm equipment companies like John Deere and Agco posted gains in trading today on ideas that increased ethanol production will mean more tractors and combines will be needed. According to MarketWatch, Morgan Stanley reiterated its overweight rating on Deere Wednesday and called ethanol the “key energy theme in 2006.” Pent-up demand for equipment replacement on farms and higher corn production should drive machine purchases, according to the analysts. “Ethanol is a rare win-win for nearly all involved,” wrote analyst Stephen Volkmann. “Farmers get higher crop prices, consumers get away from imported energy, environmentalists get renewable and cleaner burning fuel and government gets to send less direct aid to farmers.”

Ethanol

Big News Day for Ethanol

Cindy Zimmerman

Every single news story that I read or heard about the president’s speech last night focused on his remarks about ethanol and it seemed to be overwhelmingly positive. Even the Democratic response to the address from brand new Virginia Governor Tim Kaine seemed to agree with Bush on this point, sort of. “When it comes to energy, Americans are using more than ever, paying more for it, and are more dependent on the Middle East than ever before. There’s a better way. Last summer, I joined Democrats in Washington and in other states in calling on oil companies to share in our sacrifice and return some of their record-breaking excess profits. Democrats at both the state and national levels are leading the way on energy reforms, calling for greater public investments for alternative, advanced energy technologies. These investments will promote energy independence, boost our nation’s economy, create jobs, and strengthen national security.”Automotive News noted some reaction that the plan was “too little and too long term.” Global reaction was mixed according to an Associated Press story which includes negative comments from France and OPEC – no surprises there.
Read more about the Advanced Energy Initiative that the president announced last night.

Ethanol, Government

Might As Well Face It, We’re Addicted To Oil

Cindy Zimmerman

Guess what? President Bush talked about ethanol in his State of the Union address tonight! No kidding!
As expected, energy was part of the president’s speech and his most memorable line was “America is addicted to oil” – a headline that was splashed all over the internet news services as soon as they received their advanced copies of the address, hours before it was actually made. The president devoted less than three minutes of his address to energy, but it was the most highly anticipated by the media and – naturally – those in the domestic fuel industry. The Renewable Fuels Association even sent out a press release with reaction to the yet-to-be-made address at 5:30 pm EST (although they did note it was embargoed until 9:30 EST).
What the president had to say was certainly good news for the ethanol industry, announcing the Advanced Energy Initiative – a 22 percent increase in clean energy research at the Department of Energy. “We must also change how we power our automobiles,” Bush said. “We will also fund additional research in cutting edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn, but from wood chips and stalks or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years.” After sustained applause the president added, “Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.” Listen to President Bush’s full domestic energy remarks here.

Ethanol, Government

Audio From ADM

Cindy Zimmerman

ADM Here is some audio from ADM’s press conference this morning with Chairman and Chief Executive G. Allen Andreas and Vice President for Corporate Affairs Brian Peterson. All the cuts are a minute or so, but I left them basically unedited for context.
First off, here are Peterson’s prepared remarks about ADM’s biodiesel interests and ethanol business.
The other three cuts are all from Allen Andreas.
First, Andreas talks about his thoughts on prospects for ethanol prices.
Andreas talks about ADM’s biodiesel business in Europe and the potential in the United States.
Finally, Andreas addresses a question about ethanol imports from Brazil and the prospects for the fuel on a global scale.

Biodiesel, Ethanol

Ethanol and Biodiesel Help Drive ADM Profits

Cindy Zimmerman

ADM Agribusiness giant and biofuels leader Archer Daniels Midland today reported an impressive 17 percent increase in profits for the quarter ending December 31, 2005 – mainly due to lower corn prices and higher ethanol prices. The entire corn processing sector of ADM’s business increased $104 million over the same period in 2004 to well over $236 million in 2005 – up close to 80 percent. The bioproducts portion, which includes ethanol, was up 40 percent to $122 million. Officials said that while the low corn prices from last year’s record crop were the major reason for the higher profits, they are very optimistic about continued strong demand for ethanol as cities convert from MTBE and auto makers promote increased use of E85. ADM officials are also very optimistic about biodiesel, especially in Europe where ADM is a leader in production. “More than 50 percent of the automobiles there are diesel engines, so it’s really a different model from the United States,” said Chairman Allen Andreas. However, he says biodiesel holds great promise for the U.S. as well as the sulfur is removed from the fuel requiring more lubricity. Here is a link to the report presentations and audio from this morning’s press conference on the ADM site. I am in the process of cutting up some of that audio to put up some short sound bites later that refer specifically to the ethanol and biodiesel aspects of ADM’s business.

Biodiesel, Ethanol

Cellulosic Technology Coming Soon To a Symposium Near You

Cindy Zimmerman

SunOpta Progress is being made on the world’s first commercial cellulosic ethanol production plant, according to a company release from SunOpta, Inc. of Ontario, Canada. The wheat straw to ethanol plant is located in Babilafuente (Salamanca), Spain and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Abengoa S.A., the largest ethanol producer in Europe and the second largest in the world. SunOpta is providing the biomass pretreatment system for the plant, which is based on proprietary and patented technologies and is the only industrially proven continuous system in the world.
Within the last two weeks SunOpta shipped the Pretreatment System for the Abengoa Bioenergy Research and Development pilot plant to be built at the Abengoa corn starch to ethanol plant located at York, Nebraska. This pilot plant is funded by the US Department of Energy and will prove new advances in Biomass Conversion technologies utilizing the Pretreatment System from SunOpta Inc.
SunOpta will present their Pretreatment Technology for the production of cellulosic ethanol at the 28th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals, April 30 – May 3, 2006 in Nashville, Tennessee. This will highlight the latest advancements in SunOpta’s Biomass Conversion Technology to produce ethanol from renewable resources such as grasses, wood chips, garbage and energy specific crops.

Cellulosic, Ethanol

State of the Union Will Likely Address Domestic Fuel Needs

Cindy Zimmerman

Expect to hear “W” talking about ethanol tomorrow night. News sources are reporting that alternative energy will be a major theme of the President’s State of the Union speech Tuesday after Bush talked about ethanol in a recent interview with CBS, noting the number of flex-fuel vehicles already on the road that can run on E85. You can watch the 20 minute interview with Bob Schieffer here. Dozens of news outlets are carrying stories previewing the president’s speech, including the Associated Press.
Bush has always been a strong supporter of ethanol, so this is no surprise. And, given the high cost of fuel right now, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that the president is going to address that issue. High energy costs and domestic fuel strategies have already been a major theme in state of the state addresses given by a number of governors around the country this month.

Ethanol, Government

Blogging the Biodiesel Conference

Cindy Zimmerman

The National Biodiesel Conference kicks off Super Bowl Sunday in San Diego – but if you can’t be there, you can still keep track of everything that goes on right from your computer. The National Biodiesel Board contracted ZimmComm to set up and run the Biodiesel Conference blog at blog.biodieselconference.org, and it will be blogged by the best – my husband and partner Chuck Zimmerman. Coverage of the conference begins in earnest Sunday with the pre-conference sessions and Super Bowl kick-off party, and will continue all the way through the end on February 8th concluding with the big XM Satellite Radio broadcast “Wednesday With Willie” – Nelson, that is – hosted by Bill Mack the Satellite Cowboy. There is already content on the site – including the first podcast with NBB CEO Joe Jobe. There will be a series of podcasts from the meeting available for your listening pleasure. Expect interviews with industry leaders and experts, in addition to news from the meeting and lots of pictures. Chuck is on his way today to Denver where he will be blogging the Cattle Industry Convention for the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (at beefboardmeeting.com), then flying directly from there on to San Diego Saturday. That, in addition to keeping up with our own company blogs. A busy blogging week for ZimmComm and we love it! Hope to do lots more of it.

Biodiesel

Coal Powered Ethanol Plants

Cindy Zimmerman

Lincolnway Nevada is the site for the second coal-powered ethanol plant in the nation. No, not the state of Nevada – the city, located in central Iowa. The 50 million gallon a year plant, which is being built by Lincolnway Ethanol LLC is expected to be opened by April, according to an article in the Times-Republican. Company officials say that using coal is one-third to one-fourth of the energy cost of natural gas. However, its also more complex, expensive and high maintenance compared to natural gas.
The nation’s first Clean Coal Technology ethanol plant opened for business in December. The Corn LP plant, designed by ICM and constructed by Fagen, is also a 50 million gallon per year facility and also located in Iowa, near the town of Goldfield. Read more about Clean Coal Technology on the Coalition for Affordable and Reliable Energy (CARE) website.

Ethanol, Production