Brasil Biofuels expands Amazon power generation

  • Spanish Market: Biofuels, Electricity, Oil products
  • 21/07/20

Biodiesel and power generation company Brasil Biofuels (BBF) was authorized to begin commercial operations at its 18th biodiesel-fired thermoelectric plant, further reducing the carbon footprint of power generation in the Amazon basin.

The company has been a pioneer in integrating biodiesel production and power generation in a region of the country that is highly dependent on diesel transported in from a long distance.

"It took over a decade to overcome the challenges of investing in the Amazon, but these projects prove that sustainable development in the Amazon is possible," BBF chief executive Milton Steagall tells Argus.

The company is one of only a handful of Brazilian biodiesel producers that uses palm oil as feedstock.

The palm oil used in its plants is produced on company-owned plantations, all of which are located in areas of the Amazon region that are classified as degraded, BBF says.

Because of a 2010 law, palm cannot be planted on areas that were deforested after 2007. Furthermore, because of the 2008 forestry code, properties in the Amazon biome are required to hold 80pc of their total area in reserve.

BBF was one of the winners of last year's generation auction for power purchase agreements in Roraima state, which used to rely on neighboring Venezuela for supply. The company will invest R635mn ($122mn) in two power stations with combined capacity of 74MW. The larger plant, with 56MW of capacity, will be located in the capital of Roraima and will have both biodiesel and solar generation capacity.

The second power plant will be in Sao Joao da Baliza, where the company's biodiesel and 72 t/d palm oil plant are located.

The two power plants will begin operating in early 2021.

According to Steagall, the plants will reduce conventional diesel consumption in the region by 130,000 l/y, once fully operational.

"Not only does this reduce pollution, but it also reduces generation costs," Steagall added.

The company plans to participate in future auctions to supply isolated systems. Steagall added that the government is expected to hold auctions for these regions in 2021.

In addition to its biodiesel business, the company announced a joint venture with US ethanol plant producers ICM to build a corn ethanol plant in Roraima. With initial investment of R220mn, the company plans to produce 400mn l/yr of ethanol.

Part of the corn ethanol plant's production will be used as catalyst for biodiesel production, but the bulk of the ethanol supply will be sold in Roraima.

"Roraima is the state with the highest gasoline prices, which means our ethanol will be competing with the most expensive gasoline in Brazil," Steagall said, adding that the company plans to take advantage of new legislation that will allow it to sell ethanol directly to the service stations.


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17/06/24

Iran rebukes G7 over nuclear warning: Update

Iran rebukes G7 over nuclear warning: Update

Adds quotes from IAEA director general Dubai, 17 June (Argus) — Iran's foreign ministry has called on the G7 to distance itself from "destructive policies of the past" after the group issued a statement condemning Tehran's recent nuclear programme escalation. "Unfortunately, some countries, driven by political motives and by resorting to baseless and unproven claims, attempt to continue their failed and ineffective policy of imposing and maintaining sanctions against the Iranian nation," the foreign ministry's spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said on 16 June. Kanaani advised the G7 "to learn from past experiences and distance itself from destructive past policies". His comments were in response to a joint statement from G7 leaders on 14 June warning Iran against advancing its nuclear enrichment programme. The leaders said they would be ready to enforce new measures if Tehran were to transfer ballistic missiles to Russia. The G7's reference to Iran comes on the heels of a new resolution passed by the board of governors of the UN's nuclear watchdog the IAEA . The resolution calls on Iran to step up co-operation and reverse its decision to restrict the agency access to nuclear facilities by de-designating inspectors. Kanaani said "any attempt to link the war in Ukraine to the bilateral co-operation between Iran and Russia is an act with only biased political goals", adding that some countries are "resorting to false claims to continue sanctions" against Iran. Tehran will continue its "constructive interaction and technical co-operation" with the IAEA, Kanaani said. But the agency's resolution is "politically biased", he said. Not an "anti-Iran" policy In an interview with the Russian daily newspaper Izvestia published today, IAEA director general Rafael Grossi refused claims of political bias. "We do co-operate with Iran. I don't deny this. This is important for inspection. My Iranian colleagues often say that Iran is the most inspected country in the world. Well, it is, and for good reason. But this is not enough," Grossi said, adding that the IAEA does not adhere to an "anti-Iran policy". Grossi also stressed the need for countries to return to diplomacy with Iran, while expressing concerns over the expansion of its nuclear programme. "Russia plays a very important role in this diplomacy, trying to keep the Iranian programme within a predictable and peaceful framework. But again, everything needs to be controlled," he said. The IAEA's new resolution and the reference to Iran in the G7 statement could be the start of a more concerted effort to raise pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme. "What is happening right now is the process of accumulation of resolutions, so that when the day comes and the IAEA makes a referral to the UN Security Council, there will be enough resolutions to make a case for action at the security council level," a diplomatic source told Argus . Iran is enriching uranium to as high as 60pc purity. Near 90pc is considered to be weapons grade, according to the IAEA. By Bachar Halabi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Japan’s Yatsushiro biomass plant starts operations


17/06/24
17/06/24

Japan’s Yatsushiro biomass plant starts operations

Tokyo, 17 June (Argus) — The 75MW Yatsushiro biomass power plant in south Japan's Kumamoto prefecture started commercial operations on 16 June. Yatsushiro is planning to generate around 480 GWh/yr and sell the electricity under Japan's feed-in-tariff scheme for 20 years. It burns 240,000 t/yr of wood pellets mainly imported from southeast Asia, including Vietnam, and 60,000 t/yr of wood chips that are domestically produced. The power plant was built by Japan's engineering firm IHI, which began construction in April 2022. IHI will also carry out regular maintenance and inspections. Chubu Electric Power own 49pc of Yatsushiro, along with 37pc held by Toho Gas and 14pc by energy joint venture Ene-Vision. Ene-Vision is 56.5pc owned by Japanese trading house Toyota Tsusho, 26.1pc by domestic farm machine and industrial engine manufacturer Yanmar, 8.7pc by engineering services firm Toyotsu Machinery and 8.7pc by Toho Gas. Another two biomass power plants are scheduled to become on line in Japan this summer, with Renova's 75MW Omaezaki venture in Shizuoka in July and the 50MW Ozu project in Ehime of Japanese upstream firm Japex and its partners in August. By Takeshi Maeda Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Iran rebukes G7 after warning over nuclear escalation


17/06/24
17/06/24

Iran rebukes G7 after warning over nuclear escalation

Dubai, 17 June (Argus) — Iran's foreign ministry has called on the G7 to distance itself from "destructive policies of the past" after the group issued a statement condemning Tehran's recent nuclear programme escalation. "Unfortunately, some countries, driven by political motives and by resorting to baseless and unproven claims, attempt to continue their failed and ineffective policy of imposing and maintaining sanctions against the Iranian nation," the foreign ministry's spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said on 16 June. Kanaani advised the G7 "to learn from past experiences and distance itself from destructive past policies". His comments were in response to a joint statement from G7 leaders on 14 June warning Iran against advancing its nuclear enrichment programme. The leaders said they would be ready to enforce new measures if Tehran were to transfer ballistic missiles to Russia. The G7's reference to Iran comes on the heels of a new resolution passed by the board of governors of the UN's nuclear watchdog the IAEA . The resolution calls on Iran to step up co-operation and reverse its decision to restrict the agency access to nuclear facilities by de-designating inspectors. Kanaani said "any attempt to link the war in Ukraine to the bilateral co-operation between Iran and Russia is an act with only biased political goals", adding that some countries are "resorting to false claims to continue sanctions" against Iran. Tehran will continue its "constructive interaction and technical co-operation" with the IAEA, Kanaani said. But the agency's resolution is "politically biased", he said. The IAEA's new resolution and the reference to Iran in the G7 statement could be the start of a more concerted effort to raise pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme. "What is happening right now is the process of accumulation of resolutions, so that when the day comes and the IAEA makes a referral to the UN Security Council, there will be enough resolutions to make a case for action at the security council level," a diplomatic source told Argus . Iran is enriching uranium to as high as 60pc purity. Near 90pc is considered to be weapons grade, according to the IAEA. By Bachar Halabi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Australian industry urges support for gas-fired power


17/06/24
17/06/24

Australian industry urges support for gas-fired power

Sydney, 17 June (Argus) — Australian utilities and market experts have grown more vocal about the need for federal and state governments to support existing and future gas-fired power generation, as the country phases out coal-fired plants and transitions to a system with more renewables. The current lack of incentives could be worsened by potential distortions stemming from the federal government's Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS), which will support 32GW of new renewable capacity and storage but excludes gas, delegates heard during the Australian Energy Week 2024 organised by Quest Events in Melbourne last week. "If you're only supporting new renewables and you don't take care of existing gas assets, you run into trouble," utility Engie Australia and New Zealand's chief executive Rik De Buyserie said. While "hugely positive" for renewables, the scheme will "add headwinds to the business case for keeping gas-fired assets in market," he warned. Engie earlier this year decided to close two diesel-fired power plants in South Australia (SA) — the 75MW Port Lincoln and 63MW Snuggery — as they were not economical in an environment of rapid solar and wind penetration , which "raises questions on the future reliability of the system," De Buyserie said. South Australia has brought forward its 100pc renewable energy target by three years , to 2027 from 2030, although noting that gas-fired plants would need to continue to back up the system. Infrastructure group Atco, which operates a gas distribution system in Western Australia (WA), as well as gas-fired plants in WA and SA, has been running one of its units more flexibly, even though it was originally designed to operate as a base-load facility. "We've made some technical adjustments. But it really puts a lot of pressure on the machine. And starting and stopping it two or three times a week will increase the wear and tear," Atco Australia chief executive John Ivulich said. "We can do it for a period but it's not sustainable." There is a "growing awareness" of the importance of gas in the reliability of the electricity system for consultancy McKinsey partner Victor Finkel, which was underlined by the federal government in its long-awaited Future Gas Strategy . But incentives for long-term investment, if any, are yet to be developed. The Australian Energy Market Operator estimated in its draft 2024 Integrated Systems Plan that the National Electricity Market will need 16.2GW of gas-fired capacity by 2050, up from the existing 11.2GW, as coal-fired generation is phased out in the next decade. Around 8GW of existing gas-fired capacity is forecast or announced to retire and will need to be replaced, while 5GW of new capacity will need to be added. Support mechanisms Lobby groups, such as the Australian Energy Producers and the Australian Pipelines and Gas Association, have been calling for support mechanisms for gas-fired generation, which could be done by including the technology in the CIS or developing alternative schemes that provide long-term investment signals. The market will "definitely" need capacity mechanisms to support gas-fired peaking plants in the long term, as there is currently no market signal for new investments, according to the director of the Gas and Energy Transition Research Centre at the University of Queensland David Close. "As long as that is not fixed, I would struggle to see new gas-fired capacity coming on line," De Buyserie summarised. "It's just too risky based on merchant revenues." By Juan Weik Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Venezuela to require appointments at some gas stations


14/06/24
14/06/24

Venezuela to require appointments at some gas stations

Caracas, 14 June (Argus) — Venezuelan drivers will need to schedule appointments in order to purchase gasoline from retail outlets selling government subsidized fuel, oil minister Pedro Tellechea told Argus on Friday. The subsidized gasoline is still inexpensive, at 2¢/liter, and plentiful, Tellechea said, despite drivers often waiting in line for hours for the fuel. But under a plan to modernize the stations selling the subsidized gas with new pumps and flat screen monitors, an appointment system will soon be required for purchases. Venezuela raised gasoline prices to 50¢/liter in 2020, to what the government has called a "international price," but then set aside stations meant just for members of the ruling party and other groups, where they could buy gasoline for much less. Today about 60pc of the country's 1,800 retail gas stations sell at unsubsidized prices. Half of Venezuela's gas stations will be refurbished this year, with pumps that can fill up an SUV in 20 seconds, supply 700 vehicles a day, and accept all forms of payment, Tellechea told reporters at a model station in Altamira, east Caracas, on Friday. "There aren't in South America gas stations right now just like the ones you are seeing today," he said. "Drivers won't have to wait in line at subsidized stations, they will have their appointments programmed to the second." Tellechea said Venezuelans are now using 95,000 b/d of gasoline but he declined to say how much is being produced domestically. Tallecha said oil production was growing, reaching "above 950,000 b/d" on Friday, but that included about 40,000 b/d of condensates and natural gas liquids. By Carlos Camacho Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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