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Biofuels News

R1,8bn ethanol-from-sugar plant planned for KZN 

By: Darren Parker     12th June 2009 Private investors have reportedly put up R1,8-billion to build a new sugar processing facility in the rural Makhathini area, in KwaZulu Natal, to possibly produce ethanol and other sugar products. Trade and Industry DG Tshediso Matona said that the project, for which the Department of Trade and... 

Power rental group has big plans for Africa

By: Leandi Kolver     12th June 2009 The grandson of former UK prime minister and Nobel Prize-winning author Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill recently stepped onto South African soil to open the African hub for power rental and regulation company Aggreko. 

Do emerging biofuel technologies offer a way around food-vs-fuel dilemma?

By: Leandi Kolver     8th May 2009 In the struggle to eliminate the possibility of creating a food supply crisis by producing an alternative fuel source from biofuels, scientists and biologists are seeking other sources, so-called ‘second- and third-generation’ biofuels. The development of first-generation biofuels from food... 

US firm develops ‘simpler, more efficient’ algae oil extracting process

By: Leandi Kolver     8th May 2009 American bioenergy company OriginOil has developed what it has described as a “breakthrough oil extraction technology” that may help transform algae into a competitive transport fuel. In addition to integrating the process into its own production system, OriginOil also plans to commercialise the... 

Do the emerging biofuel technologies offer a way around the food-versus-fuel dilemma?

By: Leandi Kolver     8th May 2009 In the struggle to eliminate the possibility of creating a food supply crisis by producing an alternative fuel source from biofuels, scientists and biologists are seeking other sources, so-called ‘second- and third-generation’ biofuels. 

Economic diversification seen as key to mitigating global economic crisis

By: Leandi Kolver     24th April 2009 African countries should use the global economic downturn as an opportunity to rapidly transform their economies through diversifying sources of growth, reforming policies and strengthening governance, says World Bank vice-president for Africa Obiageli Ezekwesili. 

Africa needs to comply with sustainable criteria to supply biofuels

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th April 2009 If African countries wanted to supply biofuels to the EU or the US, they would have to comply with the applicable region’s sustainable criteria, said ProBEC Mozambique Biofuels programme officer Anna Lerner. She noted that certification under these criteria would come at an initial cost, but... 

Combine clean fuels and biofuels roadmaps, fuels technologist argues

By: Leandi Kolver     17th April 2009 The biofuels industry needed to develop a roadmap to blend with the fossil fuels roadmap being created to meet South Africa's future fuel demands, PetroSA fuels technologist Christo Cloete said recently at the Biofuels conference held at Vodaworld in Midrand. 

Investment worth $710m flows into Mozambique ethanol projects

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th April 2009 Foreign companies have invested about $710 million in Mozambique to produce 440 million litres of ethanol a year from sugar cane, a government official said on Tuesday. Roberto Albino, director of the Mozambique government's Centre for Agricultural Promotion (Cepagri), told Reuters that 48,000... 

Zim expands jatropha plantations to step up biodiesel output

By: Chanel de Bruyn     10th April 2009 Zimbabwe was aiming to produce biodiesel from jatropha to substitute about 10% of its imported fuels by 2017, which National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) biofuels programme manager Abisai Mushaka said would be about 100-million litres of biodiesel a year. The company was targeting to... 

CDM market seen growing as energy prices rise

By: Chanel de Bruyn     1st April 2009 Industry sectors were not making it a structural business case to pursue clean development mechanism (CDM) projects, MD of NuPlanet Clean Energy Anton-Louis Olivier said on Wednesday. Speaking at the third day of the African Biofuels conference, he noted that as energy prices rise, the CDM... 

Zambia seen as attractive country for biofuels investment – association

By: Chanel de Bruyn     31st March 2009 Favourable investment factors, including conducive economic conditions for a variety of biofuels feedstocks and a large tract of land to plant crops on, existed in Zambia, Biofuels Association of Zambia president Tyson Bruno Chisambo said on Tuesday. Speaking at the African Biofuels conference... 

SADC free-trade zone could benefit biofuels development

By: Chanel de Bruyn     31st March 2009 An energy mix was the best precondition for energy supply security, energy price stability and structural flexibility, Southern African Biofuels Association CEO Erhard Seiler said during the second day of the African Biofuels conference, in Midrand, on Tuesday. He stated that African countries... 

Zimbabwe eyes 2017 biodiesel target with increased jatropha output

By: Chanel de Bruyn     30th March 2009 Zimbabwe was aiming to produce biodiesel from jatropha to substitute about 10% of its imported fuels by 2017, which National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) biofuels programme manager Abisai Mushaka said would be about 100-million litres of biodiesel a year. The company was targeting to... 

SA firm plans R250m biodiesel plant

By: Chanel de Bruyn     30th March 2009 South African biodiesel production company First In Spec BioDiesel was planning to build a R250-million biodiesel plant that would convert waste vegetable oil into biodiesel, a company official said on Monday. MD Louis Nyiri told delegates at the African biofuels conference, in Midrand, on... 

Biofuels policy framework acts as disincentive, not incentive – Makenete

By: Chanel de Bruyn     30th March 2009 The biofuels industry was the underdog of the renewable energy sector, with little or no support from government and government policymakers, Southern African Biofuels Association (Saba) president Andrew Makenete asserted on Monday. Speaking at the fourth African Biofuels conference, in Midrand,... 

Marine algae biofuel pilot project launched in the Eastern Cape

By: Nicky Willemse     20th March 2009 The Eastern Cape has been selected as the site for a pilot project where marine algae will be used to convert carbon dioxide into biofuels and other products. 

Africa must gear up on infrastructure 
to enhance its oil and gas prospects

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     6th March 2009 A lack of infrastructure is a pressing priority for Africa as it underpins the success of the continents oil and gas industry, says Arthur Hanna, energy practice industry MD for Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. 

Facility aims to use grass as a substitute for food in ethanol conversion process

By: Guy Copans     13th February 2009 A new process of extracting the biofuel ethanol through cellulosic conversion of a perennial grass has been developed by Grasoline, a South African facility based in Bothaville, in the Free State,  

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.  

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