Lovell to speak at National Biodiesel Conference

By | November 01, 2007
Capt. Jim Lovell's stoically articulated five-word message, "Houston, we have a problem," is now part of the American lexicon. The problem was the explosion of the Apollo 13 spacecraft's oxygen system-a malfunction that seemingly doomed the NASA team. Lovell and his crew modified the lunar module into an effective lifeboat to safely return to Earth. As captain, he was instantly transformed into a national hero and received the nation's most distinguished honors.

Lovell will share his story with the biodiesel industry, which also faces daunting challenges. He will present the keynote address during the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, Feb. 3-6, 2008, in Orlando, Fla. His story is a testament to the essential elements of turning failure into success: quick and well-reasoned thinking, meticulous attention to every detail, courage and the spirit of teamwork.

To take advantage of discounted registration, sign up for remaining exhibit space and book limited Gaylord Palms resort rooms, visit

NBB hopes for chilly response to hotline
A new biodiesel troubleshooting helpline is available through the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), but the organization hopes for low caller turnout. The Biodiesel Troubleshooting Helpline will help resolve issues or assist with potential biodiesel-related problems that aren't resolved through normal channels. The helpline number is (800) 929-3437 and made possible through funding provided by the United Soybean Board.

The year-round resource models the hotline that was put in place by the Minnesota Biodiesel Council to address issues possibly related to biodiesel blends when a statewide B2 requirement took effect. End users and fleets should first contact their fuel distributor if they think there is an issue related to the use of biodiesel blends. Biodiesel blend distributors should then contact their biodiesel supplier. If additional assistance or expertise is needed, the Biodiesel Troubleshooting Helpline's expert staff will help users and distributors get to the bottom of any issues surrounding the use of biodiesel blends in the field.

The NBB's intention in launching the troubleshooting helpline is to be proactive and help ensure consumers have a good experience. Again, the troubleshooting helpline is for potential problems thought to be caused by biodiesel blend use. For general biodiesel questions, call the NBB office at (800) 841-5849. To locate biodiesel pumps, call the Biodiesel Hotline at (866) BIODIESEL.

FCStone offers hedging webinar
Commodity risk management firm FCStone and have partnered to offer NBB members an online workshop titled "Capital Requirements of Various Hedge Structures." FCStone is a member of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).

FCStone will offer insight into the dynamic commodity market. The presentation will offer information on current and forward market conditions, and the evolution of alternative feedstocks. More topics will be announced as the agenda develops. Registration for the Nov. 29 workshop is available at the Members Only section of the NBB Web site. For more information, contact Doug Whitehead at (800) 841-5849.

Commerce department leads Asian trade mission
A government-sponsored trade mission aims to match participating U.S. companies with opportunities in fast-growing markets abroad, where American clean technology goods and services can provide much-needed energy while improving the environment.

The U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration will lead the Clean Energy Trade Mission to Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, China, as well as Calcutta and Bangalore, India, in January 2008.

Assistant Secretary of Commerce David Bohigian, who will lead the mission, said energy security, the environment and U.S. industry will all benefit from the commercial exchange. "China and India are the world's fastest-growing major markets, and both countries are investing heavily in clean energy to fuel their economies," he said.

The mission will target a broad range of clean energy technologies such as renewable energy, biofuels, energy efficiency, clean coal and distributed generation.

On May 31, President George W. Bush announced an effort by 2012 to develop and implement the Global-15 framework, within the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change while advancing the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP). The APP is a public-private partnership in which member countries-the United States, China, India, Japan, Australia and South Korea-work together to facilitate commercial deployment of technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance energy security.

For additional information on the Clean Energy Trade Mission, visit

NBB board meeting slated for mid-November
Since this is a time when the support and involvement of National Biodiesel Board (NBB) members is most crucial to the industry, all NBB members are encouraged to attend the NBB board meeting, Nov. 12-14, 2007, in Washington, D.C.

The meeting will include governing board elections, which are now run under new bylaws that more accurately reflect today's many aspects of the biodiesel industry. Committees will also hold their regular meetings, with the addition of a trade committee meeting. The committees will consider proposed resolutions as input into the board's annual resolutions process, which will be conducted at the meeting.

As always, members are encouraged to visit their representatives and senators. Capitol Hill visit time is scheduled Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hill visits are critical with significant pending legislation affecting biodiesel. The legislative team at NBB can assist with setting up visits, as needed.

Take advantage of the opportunity to share your voice in the industry, visit with legislators and network with fellow members. For more information and to register, visit

NBB shares biodiesel information with health officials
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and the American Lung Association (ALA) of Illinois shared information about biodiesel's health benefits with the Association of Occupational Health Professionals (AOHP) at the organization's annual meeting Sept. 26-28 in Savannah, Ga. More than 300 health advisors from across the nation attended the conference. Many represented medical centers and quickly recognized the potential for biodiesel to be used in their fleets and facilities.

The annual meeting also created an opportunity for NBB, with the support of the United Soybean Board, to demonstrate biodiesel's benefits to southeastern region motor coach operators who had previously received negative information about biodiesel. The president of the South Carolina Motor Coach Association agreed to use B20 in the tour bus that provided transportation for AOHP attendees. After using the B20, he praised the cleanliness of biodiesel and documented that he had no performance issues. NBB member Carolina Polymers LLC provided the biodiesel for the demonstration that reached AOHP and motor coach operators.

Member profile: Alterra's presidential prowess
Alterra, a Georgia-based biodiesel manufacturer, launched its second biodiesel plant with former President Jimmy Carter helping break ground in February 2007. On Aug. 30, the company commissioned Alterra Bioenergy of Middle Georgia, Gordon, Ga., a 15 MMgy plant that will employ 20 people. Company officials expect their first plant, a 30 MMgy facility in Plains, Ga., to provide about 35 jobs when it begins production by the first quarter of 2008.

Company officials said that Carter was part of the inspiration for starting a plant in Plains-the President's hometown-as he is a longtime proponent of renewable energy. Anticipated expansion of the two projects will raise annual production capacity to 45 MMgy and distribution capacity to 100 MMgy, officials said.

Currently, Alterra's main feedstock is soy oil, but company officials say it may make some of its biodiesel from different sources of feedstock including peanuts grown on Carter's farm.

Alterra is a biodiesel producer and distributor headquartered in Macon, Ga. Its business model includes sourcing biofuels from company-owned and operated production plants, and purchasing fuel from other biofuels producers in the United States. Funded in part by Norwegian investors, Alterra representatives said they want to maintain domestic and global business relationships in biofuel procurement. They also said they plan to evaluate ethanol, gasification, crushing and pelletizing opportunities in the southeastern United States.

In June, Alterra CEO Wayne Johnson and Vice President Lisa Ryan, and Christian Langaard of Euro-Latin Capital joined retired U.S. Army General Norman Schwarzkopf in the studio for "World Business Review," which aired on CNBC.

Visit for more information.

Senate committee approves biodiesel measures
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) applauded the Senate Finance Committee for approving the Heartland, Habitat, Harvest and Horticulture (4-H) Act of 2007 by a 17-to-4 vote. The measure contained energy tax provisions vital to the biodiesel industry's continued integration into the domestic energy supply.

The 4-H Act contains an extension of the federal biodiesel tax incentive, which expires Dec. 31, 2008. Given the important role the credit plays in helping biodiesel compete with conventional diesel fuel, extension of the biodiesel tax incentive is a top NBB priority. The agriculture tax package approved by the Senate Finance Committee extends the credit through Dec. 31, 2010. The measure also extends the Biodiesel Small Producer Tax Credit through Dec. 31, 2012.

"Extension of the biodiesel tax incentive is vital to our industry," said NBB CEO Joe Jobe. "The U.S. biodiesel industry appreciates the Senate Finance Committee's leadership in recognizing the valuable role biodiesel can play in reducing our dependence on foreign oil in an environmentally friendly way. Extending the biodiesel tax incentive as included in this bill will support the growth of a stable biodiesel industry and allow American biodiesel producers to compete for global demand while ensuring that only quality fuel is sold in the U.S. market."

REG Inc. achieves dual BQ-9000 status
The list of elite companies attaining the highest level of quality certifications in producing and marketing biodiesel has grown again. Renewable Energy Group Inc. (REG) earned the status of certified marketer from the National Biodiesel Accreditation Committee (NBAC). The company already held the distinction of accredited producer under BQ-9000.

"We want to ensure that every gallon of high-quality biodiesel that leaves one of our production facilities is handled properly all the way to the fuel tank of a school bus, commercial truck, tractor or diesel vehicle," REG CEO Jeff Stroburg said.

BQ-9000 is a voluntary fuel quality assurance program adopted by the National Biodiesel Board and the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association. The program couples universally accepted quality management systems with the biodiesel product specification ASTM D 6751 for production (accredited producer) and marketing (certified marketer). The other two companies with dual certification-holding both accredited producer and certified marketer status-are Peter Cremer North America and FUMPA Biofuels.

In another honor, REG Inc. was named one of the nation's fastest growing private companies by Inc. magazine. It was singled out as the first biodiesel company to make the Inc. 500 list, and is the seventh-fastest growing energy company nationwide, according to a recent issue. REG offers a variety of plant and marketing services, and markets SoyPower brand biodiesel.

More information on REG is available at More information on BQ-9000 is available at

NBB welcomes new members
Alamo Biodiesel Inc.-San Antonio, Texas
C-Mobility Advertising Inc.-Aventura, Fla.
Glencore Ltd.-Stamford, Conn.
Green Valley Bio-Diesel LLC-Sunnyside, Wash.
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP-Houston, Texas
Nova Biosource Fuels Inc.-Houston, Texas
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