Business Briefs

By Biodiesel Magazine | April 11, 2019

IKEA Transport & Logistics Services, CMA CGM, the GoodShipping Program and the Port of Rotterdam are cooperating in a first-of-its-kind partnership to test and scale the use of sustainable marine biofuel beginning March 19 with a landmark bunkering of the biofuel on a CMA CGM container vessel. The fuel has been developed by GoodFuels after undergoing three years of testing with marine engine manufacturers. The biofuel oil is derived from forest residues and waste oil products and delivers 80 to 90 percent well-to-propeller carbon dioxide reduction while eliminating sulfur oxide emissions. The shipping sector must switch to low sulfur fuels by 2020 while facing impending International Maritime Organization greenhouse reduction requirements. 

Evonik is merging its specialty methacrylate monomers—the applications monomers product line—with its current oil additives business to become the new oil additives business line within the resource efficiency segment. Application monomers were formerly part of the methacrylate business of Evonik, which is currently in the process of being sold to U.S.-based private equity firm Advent International. By retaining the specialty methacrylate monomers business within Evonik and integrating it into oil additives, their similar business models with a customer solution-centric approach will allow them to focus on developing and producing specialty and high-performing products and technologies.

Shell has launched a pilot program in Hong Kong with Maxim’s Group wherein waste oil from Maxim’s Group restaurants and bakeries will be collected, converted into biodiesel, and blended with diesel by Shell. Maxim’s Group will then use biodiesel to fuel its 100-plus delivery trucks. Maxim’s Group is the first restaurant group in Hong Kong to join this program. Shell has recently made biodiesel available at Shell’s Tai Po Market station, the third station providing biodiesel, which expanded coverage of the sustainable fuel to encourage adoption among commercial fleet customers. The other two stations providing biodiesel are located at Tsing Yi and Hong Kong International Airport.

Mike Devine joined World Energy in September as vice president of sales and business development. Devine previously spent six years with wholesale biodiesel distributor Amerigreen Energy, which closed unceremoniously last year after it and parent company Worley & Obetz filed bankruptcy as a result of the alleged fraudulent activity of CEO Jeffrey Lyons. Devine has known World Energy founder and CEO Gene Gebolys for 15 years. “We all share the same vision to be able to offer low-carbon gallons downstream through the last mile of the distribution chain,” Devine says. “We’re building a production platform that’s more integrated in the supply chain than just transactionally providing biodiesel to obligated parties.” One of Devine’s focuses at World Energy is growing downstream discretionary blending of biofuels. “Our company’s initials are ‘WE,’ and that’s really what our organization feels like,” Devine says. “Gene has assembled a great collection of talented people whose common goal is not to boost our brand or us, but to act as a trusted partner to help enable downstream markets and end-users enjoy all the opportunities these low-carbon gallons can provide.” Prior to Amerigreen, Devine spent three years as petroleum liaison with the National Biodiesel Board working with Paul Nazzaro. Early this year Devine was also elected to the board of directors for the National Biodiesel Foundation.

Paraguay President Mario Abdo Benítez and Erasmo Carlos Battistella, president of Brazilian investment holding company ECB Group, met Feb. 25 and favorably discussed ECB Group’s Omega Green renewable diesel complex, worth more than $800 million. The Paraguayan plant will be capable of producing 250 MMgy of renewable diesel and biojet fuel. Virtually all production will be destined for export markets such as the U.S. and Europe. The facility will make its fuel from soybean oil extracted with renewable hexane, animal fats and used cooking oil. The hydrogen required will be obtained through electrolysis of water with ThyssenKrupp technology. Crown Iron Works will supply soybean processing design and equipment, including oil extraction and treatment, and Honeywell’s UOP will supply a modular hydrotreatment plant. The entire complex will be fueled by renewable energy. ECB Group plans to start full production in 2022.

Renewable Energy Group Inc. held an open house March 1 in Seneca, Illinois, to celebrate the start of construction on the company’s first diesel fueling station. REG owns and operates a 60 MMgy biodiesel plant in Seneca, just one of more than a dozen REG production facilities. REG’s Seneca plant brings in more than 17,000 trucks per year, which have to drive through town to get to the plant. The 35,000-gallon diesel fueling station, which will offer blended REG biodiesel to the public, is expected to open this spring.

Targray has opened an EU biodiesel trading desk in Geneva, Switzerland. Part of a broader investment plan to meet demand for low-carbon fuels in the EU, the Geneva trading desk will leverage Targray’s global franchise and in-house expertise to create differentiated value for biodiesel consumers throughout Europe. Targray’s EU biofuels business is led by biodiesel trader Vincent Cariou. Prior to joining the company in 2019, Cariou worked for nearly 10 years at agricultural commodities company Cargill, helping optimize procurement and logistics for biodiesel, vegetable oil and soybean meal customers in the European Union.

European biodiesel producer and waste oil collector Muenzer Bioindustrie GmbH has opened its first biodiesel plant outside of Europe in Navi Mumbai, India. In 2016, the company officially registered its subsidiary, Muenzer Bharat Pvt. Ltd., in Mumbai, India. Muenzer Bharat is certified by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification system. Construction of the community-scale biodiesel plant in Navi Mumbai began last year, and the official opening of the production facility recently took place. The plant is scaled at 3,000 tons, or more than 900,000 gallons, per year. The company’s goal is to run a system like this in every city with more than a million inhabitants.

Rock House Advisors, the consulting firm founded by Joe Jobe—former longtime CEO of the National Biodiesel Board—is expanding. Mike Marsch has joined Rock House as senior vice president to further strengthen its leadership team. Marsch is a skilled senior management consultant with 25 years of experience in the corporate world. His background includes the electric utility industry, association management, government relations, marketing, conference planning and more. Marsch will help lead an expanded national and international network of strategic partners who serve as Rock House Associates. The company expansion brings with it an expansion of its client base, which includes renewable fuel clients, petroleum refiners, electric utilities, agricultural commodity groups, private equity funds and autonomous technology companies.

Crown Iron Works has developed a new process upgrade for biodiesel manufacturers named advanced catalyst reduction and economization (ACRE). ACRE adds a third transesterification reaction step while delivering an energy-efficient design for reduced cooling load and steam use. Multiple ACRE installations have demonstrated a 40-plus percent catalyst reduction and savings of 3 cents per gallon. In addition, ACRE is designed to reduce acid usages, promote energy savings through economization and increase manufacturing uptime. ACRE can be retrofitted into any unmodified Crown plant and may be available for centrifuge operations. Greenfield installations can benefit through improved performance and total cost of ownership. Crown’s decanter-based biodiesel program supports a robust operation with proven reliability and increased uptime.

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