Tag Archives: Biofuels

Biofuels in South Africa – Current Situation

Two recent stories are I think indicative of where South Africa is in the biofuel market.

Sasol recently discussed their succeeding in being listed in the Dow Jones sustainability world index and gave an overview of their focus.


Sasol studies ‘new energy’ technologies with lower environmental impacts-1.jpg

from: Engineering News
(click image for full story online)


On the biodiesel project they have been publicising with the Central Energy Fund for some years now they stated that “there is not a very certain government framework at this point in time, which makes finalising a decision not very easy” even though the crude price is multiples of what it was in the beginning!

A recent article highlighted the discontent of commercial maize growers with the South African Governments decision to only allow the production of ethanol from excess maize.

Business Day - News Worth Knowing-1.jpg

from: Business Day
(click image for full story online)


These two stories reinforce what was obvious at the time the Biofuels Strategy was being actively developed – no one was going to be able to make a profitable business out of it without significant subsidisation from government.

The concern is that South Africa can now move away from first generation biofuels, but Africa seems to be getting deeper involved although the constrains are obvious.

The article below by the US Department of Agriculture at the end of 2007 has a good overview, but concludes that maybe there is still room for government to adjust its position. This has apparently not happened to date.

Republic of South Africa Biofuels Situation Update – Get more Legal Forms

Exageration & Errors in Biofuels News

How well do we really know that what we read is real, especially in those sectors where everyone is optimistic and the opportunities are large. Here’s an example.

Biofuels Digest recently published a story entitled


17 Mgy CrowNek Energy cassava ethanol plant opens in Nigeria _ Biofuels Digest-2.jpg

from: Biofuels Digest
(click image for full story online)


which clearly did not follow up source material enough, which although ambiguous to varying degrees did admit to this being a plan and not the start of operations as the story indicates.


THISDAY ONLINE _ Nigeria news _ African views on global news.jpg

from: This Day Online
(click image for full story online)


Of course takes off sounds like goes into production, but in the African way project tells us that ita bigger thing and not an actual refinery that is taking off.


Guardian Newspapers-1.jpg

from: Nigerian Guadian
(click image for full story online)


“Establishes” and “owned by” implies something real has been built, but “is to be established” makes it clear this is a plan and not a plant.


NIGERIAN TRIBUNE - Business and Economy-1.jpg

from: Nigerian Tribune
(click image for full story online)



Global Warming Awareness Inc - Nigeria plans ethanol project-2.jpg

from: Global Warming Awareness
(click image for full story online)


This is the only clear and concise reporting of the event.

Is it just jounalists using different words to add to the interest, an enthusiasm for the subject or a purposeful attempt a hiding the reality

Biogas in Californian Dairies

This presentation on the potential of biogas production from dairy waste in California is interesting and presents some useful data.

I am able to email you this document if you require, please click here and leave the embedded text in the subject line.