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Neste Oil Begins Trials of Neste Green 100% Renewable Diesel

Neste Oil has begun trials of their Neste Green 100 diesel replacement made from palm oil. The field trials will include vehicles of Neste employees as well as private citizens in the Helsinki, Finland area.

Neste Green 100 is not biodiesel, as it is a diesel replacement (hydrocarbon) rather than a fatty methyl ester. Lab tests have shown a 40-80% lifecycle reduction in GHG emissions versus petroleum diesel with lower tailpipe emissions and particulates as well.

The Neste fuel contains NExBTL, made from palm seed oil, and is 100% renewable. This trial batch is specifically designed for the Finnish climate and conditions.

NExBTL is made thorugh the high-pressure hydrogenation of fatty acids and creates byproducts including propane and gasoline. Neste has two 800,000 tonne capacity plants under construction, one in Singapore and the other in Rotterdam. They will go online this year and next respectively.

Source: Future Car 

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Envoy: Biofuel exports to EU will grow

EU Ambassador Vincent Piket
14/06/2010 (Business Times, Malaysia) - MALAYSIAN biofuel exports to the European Union (EU) will grow in the coming years, due to the renewable fuel policy which gives incentives to operators that produce sustainably, said the EU ambassador Vincent Piket.

"Naturally, such a trend needs to go hand in hand with safeguards for natural resources and biodiversity, including virgin tropical forest. That's why the EU has adopted these guidelines," he said.

His remarks follow the European Commission's (EC) adoption of guidelines on Thursday to implement the EU's Renewable Energy Directive (RED), which requires EU member states to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in energy use.

To reach these targets, biofuels must deliver substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emission and should not come from forests, wetlands, peatlands and nature protected areas.

renewable fuel policy

The guidelines lay down the requirements for certification schemes that want to be recognised by the EC. Other issues covered include information on default values, practical implementation of the EU biofuels and bioliquids sustainability scheme and guidelines for the calculation of land carbon stocks.

In a recent meeting with several European MPs, Malaysian stakeholders in the palm oil industry urged the EC not to discriminate against palm oil.

According to the RED which will come into force in December this year, biofuels must have greenhouse gas savings of at least 35 per cent and according to EU's calculation, the use of palm oil-based biodiesel failed the requirement as it achieved only 19 per cent. This meant that the palm oil-based biodiesel will not qualify for the incentives.

The guidelines will also help individual initiatives in Malaysia, including the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, to ensure eligibility for the EU sustainability scheme.

Piket said the guidelines will increase opportunities for third world countries like Malaysia to export into the EU, by giving incentives to operators that produce sustainably.

"This will encourage good practices, such as methane capture in oil palm mills, and discourage bad ones," he said.

Piket said Malaysian biofuels can meet the criteria if produced under the right conditions.

Biodiesel from palm oil is treated in the same way as other biofuels and there is no distinction between domestically, EU-produced biofuels and imported ones.

"The adopted package gives clear guidance to the Malaysian palm oil producers what they need to do to meet the EU's sustainability criteria for biofuels, including palm-based biodiesel. This will help investment decisions and marketing," he said.

The guidelines also create a level playing field for biofuels produced in the EU and those imported from outside, providing equal access to the EU market.

"The Malaysian exports of biodiesel to the EU are still relatively small, but they are likely to grow during this decade as a result of the EU's renewable energy policy," Piket said.

He added that the sustainability criteria do not apply to exports of Malaysian palm oil for consumer products such as food or cosmetics, which currently represent about 95 per cent of Malaysia's palm oil experts to the EU.

VIASPACE Increases Giant King Grass Production Capacity

IRVINE, Calif., June 9  -- VIASPACE Inc. -- a clean energy company growing Giant King? Grass as a low-carbon, renewable energy crop, today announced it has increased Giant King Grass production capacity by leasing an additional 34 acres in Guangdong Province, China. The new land leased for 25 years is contiguous to VIASPACE's current land and includes the ability for irrigation.

With the new acreage, just planted with Giant King Grass, VIASPACE now has 279 acres under cultivation to support its expanding needs, including commercial production of Green Log? fireplace and campfire logs, supplying seedlings for planting additional acres to support large biomass projects, and manufacturing biomass pellets for replacing coal in electricity generating power plants.

Green Logs, manufactured from Giant King Grass, are the Company's first commercial renewable energy/biomass product and are now available for sale through a U.S. distributor. Manufactured fire logs represent a $400 million annual market in North America. With more than 100 million logs?made primarily of wood chips and sawdust?burned each year, VIASPACE sees a substantial opportunity. Green Logs are the most environmentally friendly manufactured log available, and Green Logs generate greater heat output than conventional logs. Its non-chemical, natural campfire aroma makes it even more appealing.

The VIASPACE acreage also acts as a nursery, which can provide sufficient seedlings to plant more than 10,000 acres of new crops per year to support partners' annual needs for biomass for their power-generating projects. VIASPACE is in discussions with potential business partners operating in China, Europe, India, Indonesia and other regions, where their biomass power plants have been built or are under construction.

Additionally, the Company's acreage can be harvested for manufacturing biomass-energy pellets for co-firing with coal in existing coal-burning power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Co-firing can be achieved with only a modest modification of the existing power plant and, by using 20% Giant King Grass, will reduce the net carbon emissions of the power plant by 20%. Co-firing with Giant King Grass is the quickest and lowest-cost alternative for coal power plants to meet the industry's carbon reduction goals by 2020.

VIASPACE Chief Executive Dr. Carl Kukkonen remarked: "With this new land under cultivation, we will continue to accelerate the production of renewable Giant King Grass crops to support large, low-carbon biomass energy projects. Potential projects include direct combustion of Giant King Grass as biomass and Giant King Grass in pellet form to be co-fired with coal.  Co-firing is prevalent in Europe, and new markets for biomass are also developing in Japan and Korea. And if limitations on carbon emissions are also adopted domestically, the U.S. will also become a large market, for which we are positioning our operations for this eventuality."

EU proposes sustainable biofuels guidelines; "Protectionism!" cries World Growth

11/06/2010 (Biofuels Digest) In Brussels, the EU Energy Commissioner presented the EU’s proposed guidelines on sustainable biofuels. The package includes three primary principles:

1. Sustainable Biofuel Certificates: The Commission encourages industry, governments and NGOs to set up “voluntary schemes” to certify biofuel sustainability – and explains the standards these must meet to gain EU recognition.

2. Protecting untouched nature: The Communication explains that biofuels should not be made from raw materials from tropical forests or recently deforested areas, drained peatland, wetland or highly biodiverse areas – and how this should be assessed. It makes it clear that the conversion of a forest to a palm oil plantation would fall foul of the sustainability requirements.

3. Promote only biofuels with high greenhouse gas savings: The Communication reiterates that Member States have to meet binding, national targets for renewable energy and that only those biofuels with high greenhouse gas savings count for the national targets, explaining also how this is calculated. Biofuels must deliver greenhouse gas savings of at least 35% compared to fossil fuels, rising to 50% in 2017 and to 60%, for biofuels from new plants, in 2018.

Visionary policy, or ‘green protectionism’?

In Washington, the pro-development NGO World Growth underscored a growing body of research which shows palm oil is the most efficient vegetable oil for biofuel and rejected the mischaracterization that conversion of forests for palm oil leads to widespread increases in emissions.

Chairman Alan Oxley, former Ambassador to the GATT, issued the following statement: “No matter how the Commission tries to dress up its policy on biofuels, Brussels is denying to European consumers effective, low cost, and — in the case of palm-based biofuel — environmentally sustainable products. The root cause is reversion by the European Union to its timeworn practice of using protectionist measures to block agricultural imports and hinder production in developing countries.”

Neste Oil's growing palm oil use for biofuels

KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 (Reuters) - Neste Oil could buy 2.4 million to 2.5 million tonnes of vegetable oils for four biofuel plants, putting the Finnish refiner on par with consumer goods giant Unilever as a top vegetable oil buyer.

The bulk of Neste Oil's vegetable oil purchases will come from palm oil, currently the cheapest in the world.

Here are some facts about Neste Oil and its growing palm oil use. 
  • Neste Oil has developed biofuel technology that allows flexible use of any vegetable oil or animal fat for producing its NExBTL fuel. The fuel does not need to be blended with fossil diesel and can be used as it is for the transport sector.
  • Palm oil will make up the bulk of the refiner's feedstock. Analysts say this may narrow palm oil's discount to soyoil below $100 a tonne.
  • In Finland, Neste Oil has two plants producing NExBTL, which has been marketed as the world's cleanest fuel. The combined capacity of the factories stand at 350,000 tonnes.
  • Neste Oil has invested a combined 1.22 billion euros to build one biofuel plant in Singapore and another in Rotterdam that each have a capacity of 800,000 tonnes. The Singapore plant will be completed in 2010 and the Rotterdam factory in 2011.
  • The firm is part of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) -- a grouping of planters and consumers who have developed a certification system that includes commitments to preserve wildlife and forests when expanding estates.
  • Neste Oil, which has committed to use only certified palm oil by end-2015, will still make its own greenhouse gas assessments on crude palm oil sourced through the RSPO.

  • The Finnish refiner now applies the segregation method to its supply chain system that allows for the mixing of certified green palm oil with those produced by non-RSPO plantations.
  • It may go over to mass-balancing its supply chain, which means Neste Oil will administer the mixing of these two type of palm oil available so that they know the conditions and the farming methods of their suppliers.
  • Neste Oil dropped to an underlying operating loss in the fourth quarter due to weak margins and said it expected 2010 to be challenging. 

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