FEATURE: BIOMASS TO LIQUIDS Maria Fiskerud, Nordic Director, SkyNRG, talking biofuels and aviation with Gunnar Vesterlund, Marketing Manager Pulp & Energy Business, Valmet AB. A DECADE OF WORLD BIO(FUEL) MARKETS Held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the 10th anniversary edition of World Bio Markets was, compared to its heyday editions in 2007 and 2008, a quiet celebration. It is an unfair comparison though taken out of the social, economic and political context of the time. Reflecting instead over what has been achieved within the biofuels, biomaterials and biochemicals over the decade the view is another. Bioenergy International No 78, 2-2015 21 AROUND 500 DELEGATES from across the international biofuels and biochemical value chain arrived in Amsterdam for the 10th anniversary edition of World Bio Markets (WBM). Back in 2006 the inaugural event was held in Brussels, Belgium. The talk then was on the benefits and potential that biofuels held; a renewable fuel and an alternative feedstock market for farmers. In 2009 the sentiment turned 180 degrees into a blame game; sustainability, food prices, deforestation, failed policies. 2010 attention focused on 2nd generation, advanced biofuels, algae and cellulosic feedstock. Aviation and biochemicals came into the event scope hence name change. 2013 the concept of bioeconomy turned up. In effect all the issues mentioned since 2009 onwards along with finance, or lack of, have been on the conference agenda since. Steel in the ground, biofuels in land, sea and air There is more to it though. All the while ethanol and biodiesel production, consumption and trade has grown, full scale HVO refineries built in Europe and Asia, several first-of-a-kind commercial cellulosic biofuel plants have and are being built, in Brazil, the US and Europe. A significant number of airlines have conducted biofuel blend flights with Hainan Airlines the most recent on 50:50 blend of UCO derived biojet. Airlines are investing in biorefineries, forest industries are building them, and it is happening in spite of adverse policy and financial conditions. That is something worth celebrating while reflecting over the work of one the sector’s true pioneers, Guido Ghisolfi, vice-president and a managing director of the Mossi & Ghisolfi Group who died in his home March 3, which as it happens was the last day of WBM 2015. Text & photos: Alan Sherrard BI78/4785/AS Investor panel discussion on what an investor needs to see before backing a project with full commercial roll-out (left) panel moderator John Plaza, CEO, Imperium Renewables; Jeff Passmore, CEO, Passmore Group; Ashish Anand, Director Investment Banking Division, Barclays and Sean Sutcliffe, CEO, Green Biologics. Ken Hill, Business Development & Licensing Cellulosic Ethanol, DuPont Industrial Biosciences. Birthday cake and afternoon tea a perfect combination.
Bioenergy no 2 - March 2015
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