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Biofuels News

Big power investment opportunities emerging in SSA - energy analyst

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th February 2009 Significant investment opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa would soon emerge to the benefit of private power companies, while the energy sector’s contribution to economic development on the African continent would also be boosted, an analyst said on Monday. Growth consultancy firm Frost &... 

Big climate change economy likely to emerge as world seeks low-carbon future

By: Leandi Kolver     6th February 2009 If global greenhouse-gas (GHG) emission reduction opportunities are pursued to their full potential, from €200-billion to €350-billion would be spent annually on these initiatives by 2030, according to global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. 

Biodiesel tractor voted tops in Europe

By: Guy Copans     6th February 2009 A tractor from agricultural machinery supplier New Holland Agriculture designed to operate on biodiesel fuels, has been voted ‘Tractor of the Year 2009’ by a panel of European agricultural engineering journalists. 

The three hard realities that will shape the world’s energy future

By: Leandi Kolver     12th December 2008 Between now and 2050. the world will embarking on an energy path that will demand greater efficiency and reduces the overall volume of carbon dioxide (CO2), Shell business planning coordinator and strategic adviser Leon Lizamore asserts. But he adds that such a lower-carbon future wil be based... 

The electric car prepares for a fresh onslaught as world seeks to diversify away from oil 

By: Irma Venter     12th December 2008 The days of coughing up R500 at the filling station before queueing off to work in your double-cab pick-up may be getting fewer. Instead, you may find yourself kissing the kids good-bye, unplugging the car from the wall socket, and winding your way to the office in a nimble two-seater. 

Private sector cannot operate in a policy vacuum, energy champion warns 

By: Leandi Kolver     28th November 2008 South Africa was lagging behind in terms of using modern energy solutions, said South African National Energy Association chairperson Brian Statham at a conference on energy in Johannesburg recently. 

DME reviews ‘finer details’ of biofuels strategy - CEF

By: Jade Davenport     21st November 2008 The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) was currently reviewing the “finer details” of the country’s biofuels industrial strategy, a Central Energy Fund (CEF) official said on Friday. Addressing delegates at the Biofuels Markets Africa conference in Cape Town, CEF biofuels project manager... 

Construction of E Cape bioethanol plant to start next year

By: Jade Davenport     21st November 2008 Construction of a large-scale 90-million-litres bioethanol production facility is expected to start in the second quarter of next year, a Central Energy Fund (CEF) official said on Friday. CEF biofuels project manager Sibusiso Ngubane stated that this project was a joint venture between... 

IDC sticks to R60bn approval target, but shifts attention from resources to energy

By: Terence Creamer     21st November 2008 South Africa’s State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has decided not to pull back from its stated goal of approving at least R60-billion worth of new investments over the next five years to 2012/13, despite an increasingly violent global financial storm that will lead to recession... 

Biofuels still viable despite lower oil price – industry expert

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th November 2008 The recent lowering of the oil price might very well have some significant effects on the short-term prospects of biofuel production, but long-and medium-term prospects remained positive, said industrial solutions provider MAN Ferrostaal MD Sean de Lancey. De Lancey said on Friday that the... 

Microalgae could offer promising fuel alternative

By: Leandi Kolver     14th November 2008 Microalgae research can now be applied to technologies to alleviate pollution caused by CO2 emissions, breakdown of waste products and production of essential products such as proteins, vitamins and lipids for biodiesel fuels, say Dheepak Maharajh and Raj Lalloo in a research paper produced for... 

Second-generation biofuels may offer a way forward

By: Liam Morrison     31st October 2008 Second-generation technologies for the production of biofuels will assist humanity in overcoming many of the disadvantages of first generation technologies, University of Stellenbosch’s microbiology acting head Emile van Zyl told audiences at the Protecting the Future of the Biofuels Industry in... 

Grain likely to remain off the biofuels crop list

31st October 2008 Unless there is a surplus in the production of grain in 2008, cabinet’s policy on excluding maize as a biofuels feedstock is likely to remain the same, Grain South Africa senior economist Wessel Lemmer commented earlier this year.  

Biofuels a potential tool for social development

By: Liam Morrison     31st October 2008 The biofuels industry will have a greater benefit for Southern Africa if it is used as a tool for social development rather than as a means to replace the region's dependency on crude oil, said Citizens United for Renewable Energy and Sustainability (CURES) Southern African coordinator Annie Sugrue. 

By-product uses determine biofuel process sustainability

By: Liam Morrison     31st October 2008 The profitability and sustainability of a biofuel production process is determined by how the by-products created in the process or derivatives of those by-products are used, says biochemical services provider Bioservices' Dr Irene Finnegan. 

Cape Town to host African biofuels conference

By: Jade Davenport     22nd October 2008 As fears concerning the security of fossil fuel supplies grow ever stronger, South Africa is increasingly focusing attention on the establishment of a viable biofuels market that will ease the country’s reliance on non-renewable energy sources. It is within this context that a conference will be... 

Does SA’s sunflower-to-diesel technology have any place in its fuel-security future?

By: Leandi Kolver     17th October 2008 In 1973, a fuel crisis hit the world, and then again in 1979, which led to South Africa, in desperate need of fuel, researching fuel crops in the hope of developing the very first biodiesel-from-sunflower technology. SA Biodiesel director Frans Hugo, the leader of the original research team of... 

Does SA’s sunflower-to-diesel technology have any place in its fuel-security future?

By: Leandi Kolver     17th October 2008 “Biodiesel should be seen as an opportunity and not just a solution towards ending a problem. For Africa, this is most true, as biodiesel can be an opportunity to improve economies in poor countries.  

Biofuels singled out as 'best option' for alternative fuels in SA  

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th October 2008 The South African National Energy Research Institute’s (Saneri’s) programme manager for green transport has labelled biofuels as the country’s number one short-term option for alternative transport fuel. Dr Titus Mathe said that, although the country had a range of alternative fuels available,... 

Malawi’s ethanol-fuel tests show promise

By: Marcel Chimwala     10th October 2008 Malawi has successfully completed a project to test the practicability of using locally produced ethanol instead of petrol or diesel to power vehicles. 

Energy shift on the cards, but not soon 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     9th October 2008 The world would eventually see a significant shift towards an era where energy was used more efficiently and carbon emissions were reduced, Shell South Africa planning and strategy manager Leon Lizamore said at the Department of Minerals and Energy's Oil Summit on Thursday. He explained that... 

Africa still lagging, but cogen coming to the fore

By: Leandi Kolver     3rd October 2008 Global cogeneration is bound to increase from the current 6,5% to 10% by 2010, owing to aggressive encouragement by Western governments, says Energy for Sustainable Development Kenya MD Stephen Mutimba. 

What are the ingredients of a cogeneration project?

By: Leandi Kolver     3rd October 2008 For a cogeneration project to qualify as a cogenerator, the electricity produced should be the coproduct, byproduct, waste product or residual product of some industrial process, says the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) senior manager for energy, infrastructure and operations... 

Biofuels industry has 10yr window of opportunity, report highlights

By: Chanel de Bruyn     10th September 2008 The global biofuels industry had a ten-year window of opportunity to evolve into a global and efficient industry before new technologies competed with first- and second-generation biofuels, international consulting, technology services and outsourcing company Accenture said on Wednesday. The... 

New JV looking to grow castor beans for biodiesel in Namibia

By: Reuters     10th September 2008 Israel's Evogene, Ormat Industries and the Leviev Group of Companies said on Wednesday they will set up a joint venture to grow castor beans in Namibia for the production of biodiesel. Geothermal energy producer Ormat, through its US subsidiary Orfuel Inc, has been collaborating with Evogene... 

New SA biodiesel plant designed using integrated architecture solution

By: Leandi Kolver     15th August 2008 Rockwell Automation has supplied South Africa’s first fully automated biodiesel plant with an integrated architecture solution 

Advisers appointed for Foskor’s upcoming IPO

By: Matthew Hill     6th August 2008 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has appointed Deutsche Bank and AloeCap to advise it on its upcoming initial public offering and black economic-empowerment aspects of the restructuring of Foskor. State-owned IDC, which was the majority stakeholder in Foskor, made the appointments in... 

Tongaat Hulett could spend up to R7bn on cogen projects

By: Matthew Hill     4th August 2008 Agroprocessing firm Tongaat Hulett could generate up to 266 MW of power in three years’ time if its builds cogeneration plants at four of its Southern African sugar mills, it said on Monday. All four projects were either in pre-engineering or environmental-impact assessment stages, CEO Peter... 

Tongaat Hulett eyes rapid expansion in Zimbabwe when economic outlook improves – CEO

By: Matthew Hill     4th August 2008 JSE- and LSE-listed Tongaat Hulett CEO Peter Staude is upbeat about the company’s prospects in Zimbabwe, which is recognised to be the lowest cost sugar producer in Southern Africa, where he believes the economic situation could sweeten in the next 18 months. Staude said on Monday that, once an... 

Kudu gas exports possible as power-plant plan falters

By: Felix Njini     25th July 2008 Africa-focused oil and gas firm Tullow Oil says it may consider direct gas exports from its massive Kudu gas reservoir, in Namibia, after delays in the implementation of the envisaged 800-MW gas-to-power plant, which had been expected to use gas from the massive Kudu fields for electricity... 

National energy-efficiency hub launched at the University of Pretoria

By: Leandi Kolver     4th July 2008 A national hub offering a postgraduate programme in energy efficiency and demand-side management (EEDSM) has been launched at the University of Pretoria. 

Malawi moves to scale-up jatropha-based biodiesel industry

By: Marcel Chimwala     6th June 2008 The Malawi government is facilitating the implementation of a number of private-sector-driven projects to set up biodiesel production plants in the country as part of a multimillion-dollar programme meant to ensure that the country diversifies from its overdependence on fossil fuels as a source... 

Bill is unashamedly proconsumer, but consumers will probably also bear costs

By: Dennis Ndaba     9th May 2008 Independent commercial law firm Deneys Reitz Attorneys says that the Consumer Protection Bill of 2007 is “unashamedly proconsumer.” 

Skills dearth is fuelling other crises from food to power

By: Dennis Ndaba     9th May 2008 Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka says that some of the challenges that the world is facing, such as food shortages as well as the fuel and a power squeeze, the latter being particulalry prevalent in South Africa, are partly the result of a worldwide skills dearth. 

SA should avoid biofuels incentives that distort food, fuel equation

By: Guy Copans     9th May 2008 Governments should “think twice” about incentives relating to biofuels, considering its potential impact in terms of economics, and food security, argues consulting and outsourcing company Accenture group CE Sander Van t’ Noordende.  

Biofuels halt would ease food prices - agriculture group

By: Reuters     30th April 2008 A moratorium on grain-based biofuels would help ease raging wheat and corn prices by up to 20 percent in the next few years, a leading agriculture research group said on Tuesday. "Our models analysis suggest that if a moratorium on biofuels would be issued in 2008, we could expect a price... 

Tongaat Hulett to produce fuel-grade ethanol in Zimbabwe

By: Matthew Hill     21st April 2008 Sugar, starch and property group Tongaat Hulett was converting a plant in Zimbabwe for "a small amount of capital" to allow it to switch between producing potable ethanol as well as fuel grade ethanol, a spokesperson said on Monday. The plant had been producing potable ethanol for... 

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