Total and Corbion Join Hands for Bioplastics Venture

Total – a leading French energy company along with Corbion – a leader in the bio-based sector – have announced a 50/50 joint venture to produce and market polylactic (PLA) polymers.

The JV features a PLA polymerization plant with a capacity of 75,000 tons per year. It is expected to be built at Corbion’s existing site in Thailand – which already has a lactide (PLA monomer) production unit and that will be integrated under the JV.

With operations slated to be launched in the 1st quarter of 2017, Corbion will be responsible for lactic acid supplies to the plant – a key raw material for the production of PLA and lactide.

Total and Corbion with this joint venture are eyeing to become a major player in the growing bioplastics market. Corbion already has a unique position in the lactic acid and biopolymers value chain and the company delivers high performance bio-based products made from renewable resources that caters  bakery, meat, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, home and personal care, packaging, automotive, coatings and adhesives markets. Total, on the other hand, is among the seven “Supermajor” oil companies in the world and is expanding into biofuels and bioplastics. According to Bernard Pinatel, President of Total Refining & Chemicals, “The joint venture will allow us to supply an innovative material that is 100% renewable and biodegradable and that responds to sustainability concerns.”

A bio-based, biodegradable polymer obtained by fermenting renewable resources such as sugar and /or starch to produce lactic acid, PLA claims to be the first renewable polymer that can compete with existing polymers. With numerous applications from food packaging, disposable tableware and textiles, as well as in industries such as oil and gas, electronics, automotive and 3D printing, PLA is a fast-growing polymer market segment with an estimated average annual growth rate of 10 to 15% to 2025.

To get first-hand perspective, join the Site Visit to Total Corbion PLA plant on 22 June 2017 organized as part of CMT ’s 6th Biobased Chemicals and Plastics scheduled on 19-22 June in Bangkok, Thailand.

For more information, email Ms. Grace at grace@cmtsp.com.sg or call +65 6346 9147.

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KEPCO to convert 375 MW Power Plant to use Biomass in a JV with Mitsubishi

Japan’s Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO) has announced a joint venture with Mitsubishi Corp. Power Systems – a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corp.  The JV named – Aioi Bioenergy Corp will be responsible for converting KEPCO’s Unit 2 – a 375-MW Aioi Power Station in Hyogo Prefecture from its current heavy oil or crude oil sources to woody biomass. The Aioi Power Plant comprises three units each of 375MW.

Unit 2 of the plant was commissioned in 1982. After the conversion to woody biomass feedstock, the plant will have a capacity of 200 MW.

With an initial capital of 450 million yen ($4 million), the joint venture is expected to promote and develop biomass power generation business in Japan.

MCP has spent 40% of the capital sum in the project with the remaining invested by KEPCO. MCP already has other renewable energy projects in Japan – with 73 MW of power generated from solar projects, and is developing and constructing wind and geothermal power generation projects across the country.

These projects are expected to help Japan cut carbon dioxide emissions – as they will use naturally derived fuel.

More on Japan’s biomass power projects are discussed at 8th Biomass Pellets Trade & Power on 15-18 May, 2017 in Tokyo.

For more information about the conference, contact Ms. Hafizah Adam at hafizah@cmtsp.com.sg or call (65) 6346 9218.

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JGC Wins EPC Contract to Build One of Japan’s Largest Biomass Power Plants

Muroran Biomass Power Generation GK is planning a biomass power generation plant in Muroran City, Hokkaido, Japan. The EPC contract for the same is awarded to JGC Corporation – which is a lump-sum turn-key contract.

Expected to have a capacity of 74.9 MW – the Muroran City biomass power plant will be one of the largest biomass-fueled power generation plants in Japan.

Utilizing renewable energy feed-in tariffs (FiT), the plant is said to be built in the idle land owned by TonenGeneral Sekiyu K.K.  The plant will be fueled by palm kernel shells and is estimated to be commissioned in autumn, 2019.

As per the contract, JGC will be responsible for uploading the feedstock, as well as its storage and transport, and the supply of other necessary equipment together with the power generation unit.

More on Japan’s biomass power projects at 8th Biomass Pellets Trade & Power on 15-18 May, 2017 in Tokyo.

For more information about the conference, contact Ms. Hafizah Adam at hafizah@cmtsp.com.sg or call (65) 6346 9218.

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2 MW Biogas plant launched in Kenya – Africa’s first grid-connected biogas plant

Gorge Farm – owned by the Vegpro Group, has begun a biogas plant that produces 2 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Located approximately 76km northwest of Nairobi, the Gorge Farm Energy Park has become the first biogas electricity producer in Africa that is selling its surplus electricity to the national grid.

Independent power producer – Biojoule Kenya is responsible for operating the Gorge Farm plant.

Biojoule Kenya has an agreement with Kenya Power & Lighting Company (KPLC) – the country’s sole power distributor – to sell the electricity produced by Gorge Farm.

The surplus electricity produced at the plant can meet the power needs of 5,000-6,000 rural homes.

The plant produces biogas through anaerobic digestion. The biogas produced is burned in two engines, producing both electricity and heat in a process called cogeneration.

However, biogas power is yet to set off in a big way in Kenya. Currently, cogeneration adds only a small fraction in Kenya’s renewable power mix – at 0.7 percent in 2015, according to the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KENGEN), the country’s biggest power company.

Some analysts say biogas could generate between 29 and 131 MW of power in Kenya. However, challenges such as low tariffs for biogas power are hindering investor interest. Moreover, biogas power feedstock such as agricultural and municipal waste is already in demand for other end uses such as fertilisers.

More about the prospects of biogas power projects in Africa will be discussed at Africa Biomass & BioEnergy Summit on 28-29 September, 2017.

For more information, email Ms. Hafizah at hafizah@cmtsp.com.sg or call +65 6346 9218.

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Jakarta City to Convert Waste to Thermal Energy

Indonesia produces 64 million tons of waste annually. Jakarta itself produces 6,600 to 6,700 tons of garbage per day. The capital city needs at least three waste-to-energy plants – as per 2012- 2023 master plan for garbage management. Currently, Jakarta has only Bantar Gebang waste treatment facility in Bekasi, West Java to treat its waste. Jakarta city administration spends Rp 133,000 (US$9.77) for every ton of waste that is processed at Bantar Gebang.

Jakarta is expected to construct intermediate treatment facilities (ITF) to process waste into energy in four areas of the capital.

The plants will be located in – Sunter with a capacity to process 1,000 tons of waste per day, Cakung Cilincing (with 1,500 tons per day capacity) and Marunda (capacity for 2,500 tons per day) and another in Duri Kosmabi, West Jakarta.

The facilities are expected to use incinerating machines to produce thermal energy.

PT Jakarta Propertindo will develop the ITF in Cakung Cilincing and Marunda while ITF in Sunter and Duri Kosambi is said to be developed by the Jakarta Sanitation Agency.

Although tenders for the projects were offered in 2012 and foreign companies were selected, no winners are announced yet – due to the change in political leadership.

More on ‘Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to Energy – Techno-Economics For Growth in Indonesia’ will be discussed by Made Wahyu Wiratma, Growth & Strategy Director, Gas Engine, General Electric Company (GE Indonesia) at CMT’s 3rd Biomass & BioEnergy Asia on 27 February- 1 March, 2017 in Jakarta.

For more information about the event, contact Ms. Hafizah at hafizah@cmtsp.com.sg or call 65 6346 9218.

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Indonesia’s Adaro Energy to Diversify into Renewable Power

Indonesia’s second-largest coal miner by volume, Adaro Energy is planning to diversify its business by exploring the renewable energy domain.

The company via its subsidiary Adaro Power is aiming to slowly make an entry into the green energy domain. As a start, it plans to add 50 megawatts of renewable power. However, the company is still exploring different types of clean energy sources such as solar-cell, geothermal, biomass and micro hydro power for its project.

Adaro is aiming to invest approximately US$75 million to $100 million for the initial project. It plans to secure 70 percent of the funds from loans and the remainder from internal sources. Adaro has enough equity, but the challenge for the company is to acquire a loan.

Meanwhile the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has provided a loan for Batang power plant project in which Adaro owns 34 percent shares. It will be the biggest coal-fired steam power plant in Southeast Asia.

Adaro is hopeful to secure more finance from Japanese banks as well as JBIC for power projects in Indonesia.

More about clean energy projects in Indonesia will be discussed at CMT’s Indonesia Renewable Power on 27 Feb – 1 March, 2017 in Jakarta.

For more information about the event, contact Ms. Grace Oh at grace@cmtsp.com.sg or call +65 6346 9147.

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Indonesia allows IPPs to supply power to customers in remote areas

Indonesia’s power sector that is dominated by state power company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), will open-up soon. In a ministerial decree, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has approved to allow independent power producers (IPP) to sell their power directly to customers, particularly in remote areas or regions that are not serviced by PLN.  The move is likely to end the monopoly of PLN in the power sector.

The decree now awaits ratification from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

IPPs will be allowed to build their own plants, distribute power and also take care of their own costs.

The move will be a boost to renewable power as the smaller IPPs that produce renewable and fossil fuel power, can operate in 2,500 villages across the country which have not been connected to PLN’s power grid.

Prior to this regulation, IPPs were allowed to sell its power to PLN only. The process was marred with lengthy negotiations that often made these small-scale projects unfeasible.

PLN is expected to concentrate on more large-scale projects to support the government’s target of adding 35,000 MW to the country’s power grid by 2019.

One possible challenge for the small scale IPPs is that the electricity produced might be expensive and households might not be able to afford it.

Estimates show that as much as $8 billion might be needed to provide electrification in remote areas. This figure is much higher than PLN’s average base cost of Rp 1,352 (1 US cent) per kilowatt hour. The government might have to step in to subsidize the private sector to address this problem.

More on Indonesia’s power sector developments will be discussed at CMT’s Indonesia Renewable Power on 27 February- 1 March, 2017 in Jakarta.

For more information about the event, contact Ms. Grace Oh at grace@cmtsp.com.sg or call +65 6346 9147.

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Indonesia & Malaysia moving ahead in South East Asia biodiesel market developments

In a new record, Indonesia has consumed as much as 2 million kiloliters of biodiesel in the period between January and October 2016. The government had introduced biodiesel to stabilize the country’s palm oil prices and also to address climate change.

The total consumption of 2.06 kiloliters in the first 9 months of the year translates to almost the monthly requirement of Indonesia.

However only about 7 percent of the 33 million tons of crude palm oil produced in 2016 was used to make biofuel. The Indonesian government aims to raise this number to 26 percent by 2020. Already the use of biodiesel has helped Indonesia reduce 4.3 million tons of carbon dioxide from its greenhouse gas emissions this year. Indonesia expects to obtain 23 percent of its energy from mixed and renewable sources, including biofuels and raise this percentage to 30 percent by 2050.

The other key South East Asian player – Malaysia is planning to raise the current B7 biodiesel mandate to B10. The biodiesel B10 is a blend of 10 percent palm methyl ester (PME) and 90 percent regular diesel while B7 is of a lower blend of 7 per cent PME.

The new measure will also require the industrial sector to start using the B7 blend. The industrial sector has until now been using regular diesel.

The new mandate is expected to create demand for 800,000 tonnes of palm oil per year to be converted into PME. The initiative is expected to help Malaysia’s palm oil stocks and support palm oil prices in the international market.

The Malaysian government, via the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities and its agency Malaysian Palm Oil Board, has taken a gradual approach in rolling out the B5 and then B7 blends in the country.

The country’s biodiesel producers supply PME to the transport sector, starting June 2011 with the B5 programme. Thereafter, the blending percentage was raised to B7 in November 2014.

More about biodiesel market developments will be discussed at CMT’s 3rd Biomass & BioEnergy Asia on 27 February- 1 March, 2017 in Jakarta.

For more information about the event, contact Ms. Hafizah at hafizah@cmtsp.com.sg or call 65 6346 9218.

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Indonesia Consumed More Than 2 Million Kiloliters of Biodiesel in 2016

B10 boon set to support palm oil industry

Air Water set to build Biomass Power Plant in Fukushima

Japan’s industrial gas supplier – Air Water is planning to invest 20 billion yen ($181 million) in a biomass power plant in Fukushima Prefecture. The plant, expected to be one of the biggest biomass power plants in Japan, will have a capacity to produce 75,000kW of electricity.

With a projected start date in 2020, the plant is at par with the biomass power plants built by Sumitomo Corp in Aichi Prefecture, eRex and Kyushu Electric Power subsidiary’s project in Fukuoka Prefecture.

Expected to be the largest domestic power generator, the plant will consume only biomass feedstock. The Osaka based company plans to procure feedstock such as coconut shells, etc., that are produced as waste by palm oil factories in Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as wood pellets from Southeast Asia, North America and other places.

Air Water plans to sell the electricity mainly to Tohoku Electric Power under the feed-in tariff system for renewable energy. Biomass power generators (that consumes coconut shells and imported materials) are allowed to sell 1 kw per hour of electricity for 24 yen for two decades.

The company is also considering selling power to newer retail electricity providers or use it in group operations.

Apart from this biomass power plant, Air Water also plans to build a co-fired plant using both biomass and coal in Yamaguchi Prefecture – in a joint venture with Chugoku Electric Power.

More on Japan’s biomass power projects at 8th Biomass Pellets Trade & Power on 15-18 May, 2017 in Tokyo.

For more information about the conference, contact Ms. Hafizah Adam at hafizah@cmtsp.com.sg or call (65) 6346 9218.

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EU’s Proposal on New Sustainability criteria for Forest Biomass

As the world steps up measures to mitigate the effects of climate change, the European Commission is proposing a new sustainability criteria for forest biomass.

The importance of a new system for forest biomass sustainability has been reiterated by several European forest owners and managers. The new criteria is part of the Clean Energy package.

Europe’s two major regulatory proposals, LULUCF and REDII, is up for consideration by the European Parliament and Council.

Already ample legislation and management systems are available to safeguard the sustainability of forest biomass – which is largely a domestic, decentralised energy source.

What’s notable is that Europe’s forests are not driven by the need for biomass for energy. In fact biomass feedstock used for producing bioenergy is a side product of higher-value timber. Therefore, any demand for bioenergy does not put Europe’s forests at risk. This is a key aspect that EU policy makers need to consider while enacting new sustainable criteria for solid biomass production.

The proposal must therefore avoid unacceptable burdens for the forest owner and be carefully analysed. Some of the stakeholders are of the opinion that carbon emissions can be reduced through the development of forests and their sustainable use. Europe is home to forests that are a source of natural, sustainable and renewable raw material that can be transformed into forest products and replace fossil fuels and highly energy-intensive materials.

The EU has already published proposals to increase the share of renewables to 27% by 2030. The Clean Energy package directs the promotion of use renewable energy resources, including minimum criteria to demonstrate the sustainable production and efficient use of biomass in transport, heat and power.

More on biomass energy regulations will be discussed at 2nd Biomass Trade & Power Europe on 13-14 February, 2017 in Copenhagen.

Email Ms. Hafizah at hafizah@cmtsp.com.sg or call +65 6346 9218 for details for the event.

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