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Biofuels News

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... 

Biomass energy generation uplifting rural community

By: Loni Prinsloo     18th April 2008 Biomass energy specialist Carbo Consult & Engineering has supplied the Melanie community, near Alice in the Eastern Cape, with a 300-NM3/h wood-gasification system. 

Is the SA biofuels debate properly framed?

By: Terence Creamer     28th March 2008 For the record, I have never really been a strong believer in the argument that biofuels can offer a transport-fuels alternative that will reduce the world’s carbon footprint. Indeed, on this page not too many months ago, I highlighted the suggestion that the environmental benefits of... 

Long road ahead before African biofuels take off

By: Reuters     20th March 2008 Africa has potential to become a major exporter of biofuels, but investors must factor in a need for costly new infrastructure and overcome red tape before the sector takes off, a biofuels expert said on Thursday. Meghan Sapp, MD of Brussels-based HG Consulting, told a conference that southern... 

New R1,5bn biodiesel plant for Coega

By: Matthew Hill     15th March 2008 Australian-owned firm Rainbow Nation Renewable Fuels (RNRF) was in the "final stages" of applying for a licence from government to produce 288-million litres a year of biodiesel from a R1,5-billion plant it was building at Coega in the Eastern Cape, it said this week. The plant would be... 

Energy control innovation promises load management benefits

By: Dennis Ndaba     14th March 2008 With power utility Eskom facing severe criticism from industry and residential consumers for the extensive rolling blackouts owing to an increasingly constrained energy generation capacity, local company, Ergon Networx has introduced a new product known as Net-PODS into the South African energy... 

French firms eye South African prospects in energy, transport and tourism

By: Jade Davenport     14th March 2008 Trade between South Africa and its fourth-largest trading partner, France, amounted to R26-billion in 2006/7, according to Business Unity South Africa (Busa).  

Biofuels strategy should do more for employment, rural ownership

14th March 2008 South Africa’s final biofuels strategy, released in November 2007, could do more to promote employment and land ownership among rural South Africans, Midrand EcoCity Trust MD and Southern African coordinator for Citizens United for Renewable Energy and Sustainability Annie Sugrue said last... 

Food security still dominating the South African biofuels debate

By: Guy Copans     7th March 2008 As has lately been so vividly illustrated in South Africa, energy is a worldwide concern that requires far more than a glancing attention. Energy is an essential part of life, and this reality means that alternative energy sources are being examined and scrutinised with greater urgency than ever... 

Food security still dominating the South African biofuels debate

By: Guy Copans     7th March 2008 As has lately been so vividly illustrated in South Africa, energy is a worldwide concern that requires far more than a glancing attention. Energy is an essential part of life, and this reality means that alternative energy sources are being examined and scrutinised with greater urgency than ever... 

Biofuels strategy should do more for employment, rural ownership

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     4th March 2008 South Africa's final biofuels strategy, released in November 2007, could do more to promote employment and land ownership among rural South Africans, Midrand EcoCity Trust MD and Southern African coordinator for Citizens United for Renewable Energy and Sustainability Annie Sugrue said on... 

Disappearing honeybees threaten food security, biofuels

By: Chanel de Bruyn     29th February 2008 Diminishing numbers of honeybees that pollinate food and biofuel crops are threatening food security and biofuel production worldwide. 

Public Works to make all government buildings energy efficient

29th February 2008 The Public Works department said last week that it was implementing an energy efficiency programme in all government-owned and -leased buildings and that it would appoint consultants to undertake energy audits. 

Tongaat Hulett awaits price agreement before launching cogen expansion

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     25th February 2008 Speaking at the agriprocessing and property development company's results presentation, Tongaat Hulett CEO Peter Staude said that he would be "surprised" if a cogeneration deal was not struck between the group and Eskom during this year. He said that there were currently "big... 

Tongaat Hulett FY profit climbs to R838m

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     25th February 2008 Integrated agriprocessing business Tongaat Hulett, reported a 15% increase in profit from continuing operations taking the figure to R838-million for the year ended December 31, 2007, up from the previous year's R726-million. The period under review saw the completion of Tongaat... 

Malawi looks to diversify energy mix with ethanol stove plan

By: Marcel Chimwala     25th January 2008 The Malawi government says it is seeking engineering firms interested in the manufacture of components for use in a specialised ethanol-based stove, which the government wants to promote as a way of diversifying from overdependence on firewood, paraffin and charcoal. 

Climate change mitigation study in ‘final stretch' - Van Schalkwyk

By: Christy van der Merwe     18th January 2008 South Africa's long-term mitigation scenario (LTMS) study, regarding climate change, which would inform future policy decisions, is now in its "final stretch", Environment and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk told delegates at a climate change round table discussion in Cape... 

Maize exclusion 'defies logic', rethink possible

18th January 2008 The government's biofuels strategy flies in the face of logic, South African Biofuels Association president Andrew Makenete asserts, adding that the association will continue to engage with government in a bid to try and persuade it to make adjustments to the strategy. 

Govt may adjust biofuels strategy - Grain SA

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     7th January 2008 South Africa may reconsider its decision to exclude maize as a feedstock for biofuels production, following a meeting between industry players and the Minister of Land Affairs and Agriculture, Lulama Xingwana in December, Grain SA GM Kobus Laubscher said on Monday. He said that the joint outcome... 

Omnia calls for re-examination of biofuels strategy

By: Christy van der Merwe     14th December 2007 Adding its voice to those expressing disappointment with the Government’s biofuels strategy, was diversified chemical services provider and fertiliser manufacturer Omnia.  

Pollution busting could earn fertiliser firm R60m/y

By: Christy van der Merwe     14th December 2007 Diversified chemical services provider Omnia, is "well on track" with it's registered clean development mechanism (CDM) project, the ‘Envinox' clean air plant, which is expected to be complete by January 2008. 

Maize exclusion defies logic, says biofuels president Makenete

By: Martin Creamer     12th December 2007 The government’s biofuels strategy flew in the face of logic, South African Biofuels Association president Andrew Makenete said on Wednesday. Makenete said that the association would be meeting the Minister of Agriculture on Thursday morning and other Cabinet Ministers in the New Year to... 

SA biofuel plan upsets Monsanto, maize farmers

By: Reuters     11th December 2007 Monsanto on Tuesday criticised a decision by South Africa to exclude maize from its biofuels policy, saying it would hurt farmers and deal a blow to the government's land reform policy. 

Maize excluded from SA biofuels plan, production target scaled back 

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     6th December 2007 The use of maize will be excluded in the production of biofuels, the Department of Minerals and Energy confirmed on Thursday with the release of its final biofuels industrial strategy. Its exclusion comes amid concerns over food security and fears of price increases, Minister Buyelwa Sonjica... 

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 Iannucci     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 Iannucci     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 Iannucci     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. 

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