Singapore's Apeiron signs loan deal to buy UCO for SAF

  • : Biofuels
  • 24/02/20

Singaporean integrated biodiesel producer Apeiron Bioenergy has signed a green trade loan agreement with Taiwan-based Cathay United Bank's Singapore branch, to support the former's procurement of used cooking oil (UCO) for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production.

The total value of the loan is US$15mn, according to Apeiron.

This comes on the back of Singapore announcing on 19 February through a sustainable air hub blueprint its new requirement for 1pc of SAF usage for flights departing the city-state from 2026, with an SAF levy to be imposed from that year as well.

Apeiron had raised S$50mn ($37mn) last June from a five-year green bond guaranteed by a trust fund of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), primarily used for the expansion and improvement of Apeiron's UCO collection points and pre-treatment facilities.

Apeiron also secured investments of undisclosed sums from private equity firm Proterra Investment Partners Asia and from Japanese petrochemical company Mitsui Chemicals in 2022, for the purpose of expanding its waste-based feedstock collection capacity, including UCO and palm oil mill effluent, and upgrading existing plants to produce higher-specification feedstock.

Apeiron has a footprint across 10 countries and has supplied over 600mn litres of UCO to produce biofuels since 2017. It also operates a biodiesel plant in China's Henan with around 72,000 t/yr of production capacity.


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24/05/20

Q&A:Shipping needs cultural shift to decarbonise: Total

Q&A:Shipping needs cultural shift to decarbonise: Total

Amsterdam, 20 May (Argus) — A cultural change in buying behaviour and supply patterns is necessary for the shipping sector to meet its decarbonisation targets and may be the biggest hurdle to overcome, strategy and projects director for TotalEnergies' marine fuels division Frederic Meyer told Argus. Edited highlights follow: What is the biggest challenge standing in the way of the maritime industry in meeting decarbonisation targets and the fuel transition ? A cultural change is required — for decades the maritime sector has relied on by-products with high energy density from the crude refining process such as fuel oil. The industry will now have to pivot its attention towards fuels developed for the purpose of consumption within the maritime industry. This will also require time as the sector looks to level up, and it remains to be seen whether there will be enough time to meet the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)'s net-zero by or around 2050 targets. But we have seen some good progress from cargo owners who are seeking scope 3 emissions related documents. How does TotalEnergies see marine biodiesel demand moving in the short term? In the short term, there is little incentive for the majority of buyers in the market. This is due to a lack of any regulatory mandates, as well as limited impact from existing regulations such as the IMO's carbon intensity indicator (CII) and the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS). Despite providing a zero emission factor incentive for biofuels meeting the sustainability criteria under the EU's Renewable Energy Directive (RED), EU ETS is still on a staggered implementation basis beginning with only 40pc this year, rising to 70pc next year and 100pc in 2026. Further, EU ETS prices have been quite low, which also weighed on financial incentives for marine biodiesel. Therefore, many buyers are currently waiting for further incentives and signals from the regulators before purchasing marine biodiesel blends. Another point impacting demand is the current edition of ISO 8217, which does not provide much flexibility when it comes to marine biodiesel blend percentages and specifications. The new 2024 edition will likely provide greater flexibility for blending percentages, as well as a provision for biodiesel that does not meet EN14214 specifications. This will provide greater flexibility from a supply point of view. However, there remains stable demand from buyers who can pass on the extra costs to their customers. And how do you see this demand fluctuating in the medium to long term? If the other alternative marine fuels, such as ammonia and methanol, that are currently being discussed do not develop at the speed necessary to meet the decarbonisation targets, then marine biodiesel demand will likely be firm. Many in the market have voiced concerns regarding biofuel feedstock competition between marine and aviation, ahead of the implementation of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) mandates in Europe starting next year. With Argus assessments for SAF at much higher levels than marine biodiesel blends, do you think common feedstocks such as used cooking oil (UCO) will get pulled away from maritime and into aviation? With regards to competition among different industries for the same biofuel feedstock, suppliers may channel their feedstock towards aviation fuels due to the higher non-compliance penalties associated with SAF regulations as opposed to those in marine, which would incentivise greater demand for SAF. An area that can be explored for marine is the by-product when producing SAF, which can amount to up to 30pc of the fuel output. This could potentially feed into a marine biodiesel supply pool. So it's not necessarily the case that the two sectors will battle over the same feedstock if process synergies can be found. Regarding fuel specifications, market participants have told Argus that the lack of a marine-specific fuel standard for alternatives such as marine biodiesel is feeding into uncertainty for buyers who may not be as familiar with biofuels. What impact could this have on demand for marine biodiesel blends from your point of view? Currently, mainstream biodiesel specifications in marine biodiesel blends are derived from other markets such as the EN14214 specification from road diesel engines. But given the large flexibility of a marine engine, there is room to test and try different things. For "unconventional" biofuels that do not meet those road specifications, there needs to be a testing process accompanied by proof of results that showcase its safety for combustion within a marine engine. Some companies may not have the means or capacity to test their biodiesel before taking it into the market. But TotalEnergies always ensures that there are no engine-related issues from fuel combustion. Suppliers need to enact the necessary testing and take on the burden, as cutting out this process may create a negative perception for the product more generally. Traders should also take on some of the burden and test their fuels to ensure they are fully compatible with the engine. With many regulations being discussed, how do you see the risk of regulatory clashes impacting the industry? The simple solution would be an electronic register to trace the chain of custody. In the French markets, often times the proof of sustainability (PoS) papers are stored onto an electronic database once they are retired to the relevant authority. This database is then accessible and viewable by the buyer, and the supplier could also further deliver a "sustainability information letter" which mirrors the details found in the PoS. It is important for the maritime sector to adopt an electronically traceable system. What role could other types of fuels such as pyrolysis oil potentially play in the maritime sector's decarbonisation targets? We have teams in research and development at TotalEnergies which are studying the potential use of other molecules, including but not limited to pyrolysis oil, for usage in the maritime sector. It may become an alternative option to avoid industry clashes, as pyrolysis oil would not be an attractive option to the aviation sector. We are currently exploring tyre-based pyrolysis oil, but have only started doing so recently so it remains an untapped resource. We need to figure out the correct purification and distillation process to ensure compatibility with marine engines. For the time being we are specifically looking at tyre-based pyrolysis oil and not plastic-based, but we may look at the latter in a later stage. The fuel would also have to meet the RED criteria of a 65-70pc greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction compared with conventional fossil fuels, so we are still exploring whether this can be achieved. By Hussein Al-Khalisy Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

US RIN generation up in April as D4 climbs


24/05/16
24/05/16

US RIN generation up in April as D4 climbs

Houston, 16 May (Argus) — Generation of renewable identification number (RIN) credits in April rose by 12pc, as biomass-based D4 diesel credits posted their second highest monthly volumes ever. Total RIN generation rose to 2.06bn credits in April, up from 1.84bn a year earlier, the US Environmental Protection Agency reported on Thursday. D4 credits continued to lead gains in April, with generation increasing on the year by 29pc to 780mn credits. The only month with greater D4 RIN generation was December 2023. D4 accounted for 38pc of all RINs in April, up from 33pc in April 2023. Ethanol D6 RIN generation rose from a year earlier by 2.4pc to 1.2bn credits, accounting for 58pc of all RINs generated in the month. D6 credits were also up by 4pc from March, a month that was affected by seasonal ethanol plant maintenance. Cellulosic biofuel D3 credit generation rose by 7.6pc from a year earlier to 69mn credits. RINs are credits traded and produced by refiners and importers to show compliance with the EPA's Renewable Fuel Standard program. Obligated parties can produce credits when renewable fuels are blended into conventional transportation fuels or can purchase credits from other RIN producers. By Matthew Cope Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Low-carbon methanol costly EU bunker option


24/05/16
24/05/16

Low-carbon methanol costly EU bunker option

New York, 16 May (Argus) — Ship owners are ordering new vessels equipped with methanol-burning capabilities, largely in response to tightening carbon emissions regulations in Europe. But despite the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions savings that low-carbon methanol provides, it cannot currently compete on price with grey methanol or conventional marine fuels. Ship owners operate 33 methanol-fueled vessels today and have another 29 on order through the end of the year, according to vessel classification society DNV. All 62 vessels are oil and chemical tankers. DNV expects a total of 281 methanol-fueled vessels by 2028, of which 165 will be container ships, 19 bulk carrier and 14 car carrier vessels. Argus Consulting expects an even bigger build-out, with more than 300 methanol-fueled vessels by 2028. A methanol configured dual-fuel vessel has the option to burn conventional marine fuel or any type of methanol: grey or low-carbon. Grey methanol is made from natural gas or coal. Low-carbon methanol includes biomethanol, made of sustainable biomass, and e-methanol, produced by combining green hydrogen and captured carbon dioxide. The fuel-switching capabilities of the dual-fuel vessels provide ship owners with a natural price hedge. When methanol prices are lower than conventional bunkers the ship owner can burn methanol, and vice versa. Methanol, with its zero-sulphur emissions, is advantageous in emission control areas (ECAs), such as the US and Canadian territorial waters. In ECAs, the marine fuel sulphur content is capped at 0.1pc, and ship owners can burn methanol instead of 0.1pc sulphur maximum marine gasoil (MGO). In the US Gulf coast, the grey methanol discount to MGO was $23/t MGO-equivalent average in the first half of May. The grey methanol discount averaged $162/t MGOe for all of 2023. Starting this year, ship owners travelling within, in and out of European territorial waters are required to pay for 40pc of their CO2 emissions through the EU emissions trading system. Next year, ship owners will be required to pay for 70pc of their CO2 emissions. Separately, ship owners will have to reduce their vessels' lifecycle GHG intensities, starting in 2025 with a 2pc reduction and gradually increasing to 80pc by 2050, from a 2020 baseline. The penalty for exceeding the GHG emission intensity is set by the EU at €2,400/t ($2,596/t) of very low-sulplhur fuel oil equivalent. Even though these regulations apply to EU territorial waters, they affect ship owners travelling between the US and Europe. Despite the lack of sulphur emissions, grey methanol generates CO2. With CO2 marine fuel shipping regulations tightening, ship owners have turned their sights to low-carbon methanol. But US Gulf coast low-carbon methanol was priced at $2,317/t MGOe in the first half of May, nearly triple the outright price of MGO at $785/t. Factoring in the cost of 70pc of CO2 emissions and the GHG intensity penalty, the US Gulf coast MGO would rise to about $857/t. At this MGO level, the US Gulf coast low-carbon methanol would be 2.7 times the price of MGO. By comparison, grey methanol with added CO2 emissions cost would be around $962/t, or 1.1 times the price of MGO. To mitigate the high low-carbon methanol costs, some ship owners have been eyeing long-term agreements with suppliers to lock in product availabilities and cheaper prices available on the spot market. Danish container ship owner Maersk has lead the way, entering in low-carbon methanol production agreements in the US with Proman, Orsted, Carbon Sink, and SunGaas Renewables. These are slated to come on line in 2025-27. Global upcoming low-carbon methanol projects are expected to produce 16mn t by 2027, according to industry trade association the Methanol Institute, up from two years ago when the institute was tracking projects with total capacity of 8mn t by 2027. By Stefka Wechsler Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Biomethanol market slows, but shipowners eye offtakes


24/05/16
24/05/16

Biomethanol market slows, but shipowners eye offtakes

London, 16 May (Argus) — The UK's biomethanol consumption fell by 37pc last year as competition from alternative renewable fuel compliance options weighed on demand. The UK consumed 40mn litres of biomethanol in 2023, down from 63mn l in 2022, 53mn l in 2021 and 48mn l in 2020, according to provisional data from the country's Department for Transport. Biomethanol is used as a blending component for gasoline in the UK. Market participants attribute the decline in demand to ample supply of competitively priced alternatives to meet the UK's mandate for the use of renewable fuels in the transport sector. Fob ARA range biodiesel prices fell to a 19-month low towards the end of 2023 , following an unusually large influx of supply to Europe from China since the start of the year. EU biodiesel imports from China reached a record 1.06mn t in 2023 , up from 557,000t in 2022, according to GTT data. The increase in imports contributed to lower renewable fuel ticket prices in key European markets, including the UK. Companies supplying biofuels for transport in the UK can generate renewable transport fuel certificates (RTFCs), which are tradeable and can help obligated parties meet the UK's renewables' mandate. The Argus UK non-crop RTFC reduction obligation price averaged 21.79 pence/RTFC in 2023, compared with 36.35p in 2022. The price has averaged 16.79p so far this year, compared with 26.40p and 37.39p in the same period in 2023 and 2022, respectively. The drop in demand for biomethanol from the UK transport sector is weighing on domestic prices. The Argus cif UK biomethanol price has averaged $1,081.43/t so far in May, having been on a consistent downward trend since late October when the price peaked at $1,205/t. The price averaged $1,212.75/t in May 2023. The slowdown in demand has put biomethanol production margins under pressure, prompting some producers to cut output. Silver lining Demand for renewable methanol, in the form of both biomethanol and e-methanol, could be supported by growing interest from the maritime sector in the coming years as shipowners seek to reduce their emssions. The EU's FuelEU maritime regulation is due to come into effect at the start of next year. It aims to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of marine fuels by 2pc in 2025 and by 80pc by 2050. Shipping companies can choose from a wide range of alternative marine fuels to reduce their emissions, but several are betting on methanol and renewable methanol. Danish shipping giant Maersk has ordered 24 methanol-powered container ships for delivery and commissioning during 2024-25, and Japanese classification society ClassNK said in a recent report that it expects a total of 77 methanol-ready ships to be ordered by 2026, up from 27 methanol newbuilds expected to be ordered this year. Offtake agreements for renewable methanol are also on the rise. Maersk has signed several letters of intent for the procurement of biometanol and e-methanol from producers such as Equinor , Proman and OCI Global . The company also said it has secured an agreement with Danish shipping and logistics company Goldwind for the offtake of 500,000 t/yr from 2024. Meanwhile, Singaporean container shipping group X-Press Feeders said last year that it will offtake biomethanol from OCI's Texas plant starting this year. Another spanner in the works? Although the outlook on renewable methanol demand from the shipping sector appears bright, the recognition of biomethane and biomethane-based fuels produced through mass balancing in non-EU grids is uncertain. More than 40 energy companies and institutes have sent joint letters to the European Commission asking for these products to be included in the Union Database , which aims to prevent the relabelling of biofuels' sustainability declaration. The UDB was launched in January 2024 for liquid fuels and will include gaseous fuels in November, but the commission plans to exclude automatic certification of biomethane and biomethane-based fuels if it is transported through gas grids outside of the EU. The measure "is likely to reduce the availability and increase the cost of low- and zero-carbon bunker fuels for shipping" and may also impact hydrogen and hydrogen-derived fuels, one of the letters sent to the commission said. By Evelina Lungu Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Nayara Energy to set up two ethanol plants in India


24/05/16
24/05/16

Nayara Energy to set up two ethanol plants in India

Mumbai, 16 May (Argus) — Indian private-sector refiner Nayara Energy plans to invest 6bn rupees ($71.9mn) to set up two Indian ethanol plants, each with a production capacity of 200 kilolitre (kl)/d. Nayara has already identified and purchased land in south India's Naidupeta town, Andhra Pradesh state and central India's Balaghat city, Madhya Pradesh state for the proposed plants. The plants will be commissioned by 2026 and will use broken rice and maize as feedstock. The company aims to gradually increase the number of plants to five, with a combined ethanol production capacity of around 1,000 kl/d. "The establishment of ethanol facilities will significantly enhance Nayara Energy's ethanol supply reliability, playing a crucial role in meeting the Indian government's 20pc blending target by the end of fiscal year 2025-2026," Nayara Energy's chief executive officer Alessandro des Dorides said. India achieved 12pc ethanol blending with petrol during November 2023-March 2024, according to the oil ministry. Nayara Energy is also considering a significant expansion of its 400,000 b/d Vadinar refinery, and proposed doubling primary capacity to 800,000 b/d. The Vadinar expansion project would essentially mean building a new refinery at the existing site, Indian oil ministry secretary Pankaj Jain said in February, according to Russian state-owned news agency Tass. Russian state-controlled Rosneft has a 49pc shareholding in Nayara. By Roshni Devi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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