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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Venezuela to buy biofuels from Brazil

Brazil's oil giant Petrobras, Petróleo Brasileiro SA, will export ethanol to Venezuela starting next July. The Brazilian alcohol fuel will initially be blended into the gasoline sold by Venezuelan oil firm PDVSA (Petroleos de Venezuela).

Ethanol is a biofuel made in Brazil with sugar cane. The Brazilian company will supply 25,000 liters of ethanol per month to the neighboring country. The fuel sent from Brazil will replace the tetraethyl lead being used now in Venezuela.


In addition, Petrobras will also be providing technical support in several areas, such as fuel reception, transportation, distribution, regulatory mark, and its mixture to gasoline.

The governments of Brazil and Venezuela signed an agreement of understanding for energy cooperation in the area of alcohol fuel industry.

The accord was negotiated between the Ministries of Energy of both countries, Petrobras, and PDVSA (the Venezuelan government-owned oil company).

Written by Vitor Abdala
BrazzilMag.

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Monday, May 30, 2005

Grass-burning power station on the way

The Guardian reports that Britain's first major electricity plant to be fuelled by grass will begin construction later this year. The £6.5m power station in Staffordshire will be burn locally cultivated elephant grass and will be able to supply 2,000 homes with electricity.
This is great news, since high yield tropical grasses promise to become a major bioenergy and biofuels feedstock in sub-Saharan Africa. The technology could easily be transferred.


Amanda Gray, director of Eccleshall Biomass, the company behind the power station, said the project was of major importance to rural industry in Staffordshire and offered another way to meet the UK's obligation to reduce carbon emissions, because burning the elephant grass will only release the carbon dioxide that the plants soaked up anyway while they were growing.

The plant could be a key element in the quest to tackle climate change. With only 1% of the world's population, the UK produces 3% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

Power stations are a major factor, pumping out around a third of the total carbon dioxide produced by the UK. The government wants to reduce the country's carbon emissions by 60% by 2050 and wants renewable energy, such as wind, waves and biomass, to play a key part.

Around 170 farmers are now diversifying into growing the energy crop to feed the two megawatt steam-turbine generator at the Raleigh Hall industrial estate, in Eccleshall, near Stafford.

The local regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands (AWM), has also got in on the act by approving a £935,000 grant to help pay for the power station.

A spokesman for AWM said agricultural activities accounted for nearly 75% of land use in the region and the plant would play a vital role in regenerating the rural areas and enabling farmers to diversify.

The plant would operate for 8,000 hours a year on a 24-hour basis and save one tonne per hour of carbon dioxide, which would otherwise have been emitted using fossil fuels to generate electricity.

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