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Biofuels News

Agriculture, biofuels bolster Omnia's growth

By: Christy van der Merwe     28th November 2007 Global shortages of fertilizer, driven largely by increased demand from the biofuels industry, have prompted significantly higher selling prices of fertilizer, JSE-listed Omnia said on Wednesday. 

Malawi wants greater business energy to deal with cement shortage

By: Marcel Chimwala     23rd November 2007 The government of Malawi has urged private firms to bring more cement into that country to deal with shortages of the commodity caused by reduced supplies of clinker from Zimbabwe. 

Final biofuels strategy handed to Cabinet

By: Matthew Hill     6th November 2007 South Africa has finalised its strategy on biofuels, which Cabinet will now consider, a top government official said on Tuesday. 

Ambitious joint venture eyes big Southern African opportunities

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     2nd November 2007 Biofuels producer D1 Oils and petroleum manufacturer BP have formalised a 50:50 global joint venture (JV), called the D1 BP Fuel Crop, which has been created to accelerate the planting of jatropha curcas, a drought-resistant, inedible oilseed bearing tree that can be harvested for liquid fuels. 

Food versus fuel debate escalates

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     2nd November 2007 The biggest disadvantage of biofuels is its potential to compete with food production, said University of Cape Town senior lecturer in economics Jeremy Wakeford, during the September Biofuels Africa 2007 conference. "This is most obvious in the case of maize-ethanol, considering that maize is one... 

Algae – fuel for thought

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     2nd November 2007 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) aims to develop a process for the production of biodiesel from algae, states CSIR bioprocessing development research team leader Raj Lalloo. The desktop study for this project was started in 2006, and laboratory research was undertaken... 

SA business still hasn't fully woken up to the real opportunities in greenhouse-gas abatement

By: Christy van der Merwe     19th October 2007 Whether you believe that carbon dioxide-induced climate change is a real threat or not, is irrelevant. The fact is that the issue is high on the agenda of politicians and those responsible for drawing up regulation, which means the drive to reduce emissions will affect you and your business. 

New database profiles world biofuel production plants

By: Christy van der Merwe     19th October 2007 Frustrated by the difficulty of trying to gain information on biofuel production plants throughout the world, Dutch entrepreneur Carlo Bakker has started a database of bio-ethanol and bio-diesel plants worldwide. 

The other inconvenient truth

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2007 Over the last decade or so, it has become increasingly implausible to deny the growing body of science showing that the continued and growing flow of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is starting to alter the Earth's climate. 

Mandatory blending target key to creation of biofuels industry

By: Christy van der Merwe     28th September 2007 To kickstart the South African biofuels industry, mandatory blending levels should be set, which would require analysis of whether downstream suppliers could, in fact, supply the demand that would be generated, explains Frost & Sullivan biofuels industry analyst Cornelius van der Waal. 

Impact of business on the environment now has to be understood and managed

By: Christy van der Merwe     21st September 2007 Understanding and managing the impact that business has on the environment today is crucial, and success in South Africa and the rest of the world can no longer be measured only in financial terms. 

SA holds key to unlocking sustainable biofuels industry in region

By: Christy van der Merwe     21st September 2007 The potential for countries in the northern hemisphere to invest in the production of biofuels in sub-Saharan Africa relies on South Africa demonstrating that it can support a stable, and investment-friendly environment conducive to economic development. 

Biofuels plan should be finalised by end-October - DME

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     17th September 2007 The long-awaited biofuels policy document should be finalised by the end of October, Department of Minerals and Energy chief director of clean energy Sandile Tyatya said on Monday. Tyatya noted that the document had been discussed and reviewed by the inter-mininsterial committee on biofuels, and... 

Energy group in SA green fuels push

By: Christy van der Merwe     10th August 2007 South African system management and engineering company Smart Energy, a subsidiary of SME International, is taking a holistic approach to the provision of energy solutions in South Africa, and this is set to pick up pace with the delivery of sophisticated micro emulsion equipment in August to the... 

Manuel to comment Monday on liquid fuels industry reform

By: Mariaan Webb     3rd August 2007 South Africa's Finance Minister Trevor Manuel will respond to the recommendations of the task team on possible reforms in the liquid fuels industry, on Monday, the National Treasury said.  

Opportunities and potential for CDM projects in SA growing

By: Christy van der Merwe     3rd August 2007 South Africa's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects account for a mere 3% of the projects accepted by the United Nations worldwide. 

Mbeki identifies scaled-up local manufacture as top priority

By: Terence Creamer     29th July 2007 Large-scale value-added local manufacture had been identified as a top priority for the next two years, the President Thabo Mbeki said on Sunday, in his report back to the media on the outcomes of the mid-year Cabinet Lekgotla.He also revealed that embattled Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi... 

Bob Geldof gets behind African green energy drive

By: Helene Le Roux     11th July 2007 Singer, songwriter and activist Bob Geldof has joined the campaign to promote green energy in Africa. Geldof has joined biomass company Helius, which is listed on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM), as a special adviser. The company is currently in discussion with Eskom to supply... 

Government to finalise fuel support strategy next month

By: Shannon de Ryhove     6th July 2007 The biofuels industry in South Africa is currently at the forefront of exciting growth. Under the Kyoto Protocol, the government is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with one of the most important ways of achieving the targets being to boost biofuels production and consumption. 

Scope for agri growth

     6th July 2007 The future development of genetically modified organisms offers unlimited scope for agricultural growth and vast new applications in the field of medicine. 

Sasol may decide in August on proposed fuel-from-soya plant

By: Nelendhre Moodley     26th June 2007 Petrochemicals giant Sasol expects to make an announcement on the viability of its proposed 100 000-t/y soyabean biodiesel plant before the end of the year, a Sasol spokesperson said at a conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday. 

10 SA CDM projects approved - DME

By: Nelendhre Moodley     15th June 2007 Ten CDM projects from entities in South Africa have been approved by the global CDM body, a government official announced on Friday. 

Investors in 'fuel-from-algae' scheme left high and dry

By: Helene Le Roux     8th June 2007 De Beers Fuel, which had promised South Africa biodiesel produced from algae, to date seems not to have made good on any of its pledges.  

Cabinet to consider final biofuels strategy next month

By: Matthew Hill     17th May 2007 A finalised biofuels strategy will be presented to Cabinet in June, the presidency policy coordination and advisory services DDG Alan Hirsch said on Thursday. 

Five small towns to benefit from R3,2bn biofuel project

     11th April 2007 The small towns of Hoedspruit and Ogies in Mpumalanga will benefit from a R3,2-billion biofuel project, funded by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Central Energy Fund (CEF). 

Final biofuels strategy expected by end-June

By: Helene Le Roux     3rd April 2007 The national biofuels task team will be presenting the reviewed draft biofuels strategy to the South African Cabinet in May. Speaking to Engineering News Online at a conference on renewable energy, organised by the Central Energy Fund, in Johannesburg, Department of Minerals and Energy clean... 

Investigative Carte Blanche casts doubt on De Beers Fuel

By: Helene Le Roux     2nd April 2007 The popular investigative programme Carte Blanche has cast doubt on the ability of much-feted biofuels startup De Beers Fuel to produce large volumes of biodiesel. 

Top economist believes economies can still grow while taking responsibility for climate change

By: Terence Creamer     30th March 2007 Renowned UK economist Sir Nicholas Stern, author of the now famed ‘Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change’, believes adaptive and mitigation action to stem the flow of carbon-dioxide emissions, viewed by most scientists as the cause of global warming, is not only urgent, but also not... 

Farmers voice concern over biofuels plan

By: Mariaan Webb     28th March 2007 Farmer organisations and rural communities from four of the country’s nine provinces have expressed their “extreme disquiet and consternation” with the State’s draft biofuels strategy, claiming that the consultation process was flawed. 

Bioethanol tax regime expected in 2008

By: Helene Le Roux     27th March 2007 It is expected that National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service (Sars) will have a tax-incentive regime for the South African bio-ethanol industry completed in time for the 2008 budget. 

‘Flex-fuel’ vehicle a first for SA

By: Helene Le Roux     27th March 2007 Automotive company Fiat on Tuesday launched the first flex-fuel vehicle in South Africa at the second African biofuels conference, held in Johannesburg. 

Foreign investors await biofuels strategy finalisation

By: Helene Le Roux     27th March 2007 Significant international investment in the South African biofuels industry, and bioethanol production in particular, is contingent on the finalisation of the national biofuels strategy. 

Biofuels association moots national licensing framework

By: Helene Le Roux     13th March 2007 The Southern African Biofuels Association (Saba) has recommended that a licensing framework should be set up by government to address recent concerns by investors in the biofuels industry, in the wake of the collapse of two prominent projects, in Bothaville, in the Free State, and in the North... 

State biofuels plan a ‘sellout strategy’ – enviro groups

By: Mariaan Webb     6th March 2007 Environmental groups Energy CaEucus and Earthlife Africa said on Tuesday that government’s draft plan on biofuels was a “sell-out strategy”, arguing that the Department of Mineral and Energy’s (DME’s) plan was not giving enough attention to job creation in the energy or agricultural sectors. 

Eskom chief says price spike in 'inevitable' given surging costs

By: Terence Creamer     9th February 2007 State power utility Eskom has cautioned that South Africa is headed for an ‘inevitable’ electricity price spike, given the fact that costs associated with new generation capacity and operations are rising so aggressively. 

Preparations begin for Durban-Johannesburg fuel pipeline

     5th February 2007 South Africa's State-owned transport utility, Transnet, has called on companies to submit expressions of interest in the design, supply erection and testing of storage tanks for a new multiproducts pipeline to run from Durban to Johannesburg. 

Ipsa in ‘advanced’ talks on BEE deal

By: Nelendhre Moodley     2nd February 2007 Independent Power South Africa (Ipsa), which will bring its new power plant, located in Newcastle, in KwaZulu-Natal, into commercial operation on February 23, is hoping to announce its black economic-empowerment (BEE) partners by the end of March. 

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