The US is ordering refiners to boost the use of biofuels such as corn-based ethanol, as the Biden administration tries to strike a balance between competing political and economic pressures while gasoline prices soar.
Canadian company Enerkem, a world leader in the production of low-carbon intensity biofuels and circular chemicals from waste materials, closed a new financing totaling $255 million. Repsol invests $170 million, of which $75 million is in Enerkem’s equity and $95 million in convertible debt. In doing so, Repsol joins existing shareholder Suncor Energy as a strategic shareholder to accelerate the adoption and deployment of Enerkem’s technology and to develop new projects in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal). In addition, Monarch Alternative Capital, a new investor, is contributing $30 million to the round while Avenue Capital Group is reinvesting $30 million, both in convertible debt. Finally, there is $25 million reinvested in equity by some existing shareholders.
Aviation fuel supplier ExxonMobil has reached an agreement with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) producer Neste to commercially distribute Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel at France’s largest airports. The move comes after the French Government introduced the 1% SAF mandate, which has come into force from 1 January.
Houston-based Kinder Morgan is partnering with Finnish company Neste to create a raw material storage and logistics hub in the United States that will support increased production of renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel, and renewable feedstock for polymers and chemicals.
Upon completion of the project, Kinder Morgan’s Harvey, La., facility will serve as the primary hub where Neste will store a variety of raw materials, including, for example, the used cooking oil it collects from more than 40,000 restaurants across the United States, the company said.
Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., a pioneer in the production of low-carbon fuels, completed construction of the world’s first commercial-scale plant converting household garbage into low-cost, zero-carbon transportation fuels. Through Fulcrum’s revolutionary process, the Sierra BioFuels Plant located east of Reno, Nevada, will convert 175,000 tons of prepared municipal solid waste (MSW) into approximately 11 million gallons of zero-carbon syncrude annually, which will then be upgraded to transportation fuels such as sustainable aviation fuel, renewable diesel and renewable gasoline – Fulcrum FuelTM. With construction complete, start-up and commissioning on the plant has commenced and fuel production is expected to begin during the fourth quarter of 2021.
Transport biofuel production declined 8% globally in 2020 as the pandemic limited travel, according to figures released by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Production is expected to recover this year to 2019 volumes, and expand another 7% in 2022 as biodiesel and hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) production increases globally and ethanol expands in India.
Bilfinger has been commissioned by the Swiss specialty chemical company Clariant to deliver EPCM (engineering, procurement, overall project and construction management) services for the construction of their commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol production plant using Clariant’s sunliquid® technology in southwest Romania.
Canadian Enerkem, with a group of strategic partners, that include major investor Shell, along with Suncor and Proman and Hydro-Québec supplying green hydrogen and oxygen, and with the support of the Québec and Canadian governments, will build a biofuel and renewable chemicals plant in Varennes, in the Greater Montréal area.
Varennes Carbon Recycling (VCR) will produce biofuels and renewable chemicals made from non-recyclable residual materials as well as wood waste. The plant will leverage green hydrogen and oxygen produced through electrolysis, transforming Quebec’s excess hydroelectricity capacity into value-added biofuels and renewable chemicals. VCR will be a major creator of quality local direct and indirect jobs during its construction and operation.
A new demo plant in Örnsköldsvik will be the first in the world to produce a 2G platform for sustainable fuels, chemicals and materials, coined GOLDILOCKS®, from pulp and paper industry residues. The plant will be built by the Swedish chemical and clean tech company Sekab together with the Dutch oil company Vertoro.
The Italian Renewable Energy Consortium for Research and Demonstration (RE-CORD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory for coordination on thermochemical conversion of biomass for the production of biofuels and chemicals.