Argus Biofuels & Feedstocks 2016
October 18-20, 2016 - London UK

DOE explains FIPP process, relation to renewable energy solicitation

The U.S. DOE held a Webinar Oct. 22 to help explain criteria of the Financial Institution Partnership Program, a program designed to work with leading financial institutions to provide guarantees for loans by those institutions supporting commercial technology renewable energy projects. During the Webinar, which is the first in a series of FIPP-related Webinars, DOE Program Officer Douglas Shultz explained the process of FIPP and how it works with lead lending institutes and applicants.READ MORE

New company offers optimized shipping rates service

Aska Energy, an independent biofuels supply chain management firm, has launched a rail optimization clearinghouse geared toward the ethanol industry. Company President Dan Gordon said the service can benefit producers by lowering freight costs for shipping and reducing turn-around times. "It's very similar to engaging in a trade, in that both parties will now be obligated to the other to perform," he said.READ MORE

Pork industry fights ethanol blend increase

The U.S. pork industry is calling for Congress to study the effects of the increase in the ethanol blend limit to E15, according to the National Pork Producers Council. The group feels that the combination of subsidies for the ethanol industry and tariffs on imported ethanol are forcing pork producers to compete unfairly for grain. That the pork industry is no fan of ethanol is nothing new. For several years, pork producers have been dealing with declining profitability due to stable demand, increases in production and increases in the cost of corn and soy meal in the form of dried distillers grains.READ MORE

Pennsylvania union requests Fagen pay documents

The Greater Pennsylvania Regional Council of Carpenters recently requested to view all of the certified payroll documents for the Bionol Ethanol Clearfield Plant. The corn-based ethanol plant, which is being constructed by Fagen Inc. and is expected to be finished by the end of November, is located in Clearfield County, Penn. However, it is being built largely by workers from out of state, a common practice for ethanol construction projects. Pennsylvania's Right to Know Act of 2008 states that any resident of the state is allowed to see the posted wages of any institution that receives state funds. The law also requires companies keep records of their posted wages if they take state funds.READ MORE

Second-generation producers plea for improved federal loan programs

The CEOs of several cellulosic ethanol production facilities testified before a U.S. House Committee on Agriculture subcommittee Oct. 29 to explain the challenges facing second-generation ethanol projects and to suggest Congressional improvements. Topics addressed included the ethanol blend wall, producer tax credits, and greenhouse gas emissions analysis, but the majority of comments focused on financing and the lack of adequate federal grant programs.Mascoma CEO Bruce Jamerson offered the Representatives a first-hand account of how difficult it can be for second-generation projects to obtain funding, even with governmental support. "Earlier this year, Mascoma and its financial advisors contacted 174 commercial lenders seeking a bank partner to apply for a USDA loan guarantee," he stated. "Only two lenders were willing to work with us. We selected one, but in the end were unable to move forward due to structural problems with the USDA loan guarantee requirements."READ MORE

Ethanol segments boost companies' bottom lines

Third quarter financial reports from Valero Energy Corp. and Novozymes show that ethanol is providing a profitable portion to the companies' overall balance sheet. Valero's ethanol segment earned $49 million of operating income in the third quarter, more than double its earnings from the previous quarter. Klesse said the increase in ethanol's income was due to increased run rates at the company's ethanol production facilities and good operating margins. According to Klesse, Valero's October ethanol margins have continued at strong levels. After a difficult first-half of 2009, Novozymes reported improved enzyme sales for the third quarter.READ MORE
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