BusinessBriefs: Companies, Organizations & People in the News
> Tenaska Biofuels LLC of Omaha, Neb., and Prairie Pride Inc. of Deerfield, Mo., are integrating their businesses for a stronger position in the marketplace by applying a traditional partnership template to the biofuels industries in an effort to compete against vertically integrated, multi-national agricultural corporate giants. Feedstock procurement requires expertise in risk management and hedging, which necessitates substantial capital.These are all assets that Tenaska brings to the partnership, along with several years experience in marketing biodiesel and virgin oil. The companies will cooperate to purchase the soybeans, and Prairie Pride will participate in marketing meal and hull pellets.
> The Air Transport Association of America Inc., an organization for the leading U.S. airlines, said eight of its member airlines have signed an unprecedented agreement with Rentech Inc. and Aircraft Service International Group to purchase up to 1.5 MMgy of renewable diesel fuel. RenDiesel, will be used in ground service equipment at Los Angeles International Airport beginning in late 2012, when Rentech's production plant is scheduled to go into service.
> In a deal between companies that dominate the seed business and have historically been fierce rivals, Syngenta AG of Switzerland has agreed to purchase St. Louis-based Monsanto Co.'s sunflower business for $160 million. The sunflower seed market is currently valued at around $700 million, and is developing at a fast pace, Syngenta stated in August. The transaction is subject to the approval of regulatory authorities.
> JatOil Ltd. of Pyrmont, Australia, has signed a memorandum of understanding with PT Waterland, a Dutch-Indonesian consortium that has "developed extensive jatropha operations in central Java to supply European power markets," JatOil announced. The pending transaction would involve JatOil buying a controlling interest in 1,000 to 2,000 hectares (2,500 to 5,000 acres) of established jatropha farms in central Java, an island of Southern Indonesia.
> The non-profit Renewable Energy Institute International announced an alliance of industry, academic and government organizations to build a pilot demonstration plant in Toledo, Ohio. The alliance includes Red Lion Bio-Energy, Pacific Renewable Fuels, Grace Davison, PACCAR, SolarTurbines/Caterpillar, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Desert Research Institute, Quanta Services, Worley Parsons, University of Toledo, Midwest Terminals/Port of Toledo, among others. A propriety waste-to-energy thermal conversion process has been designed and validated at test sites in Sacramento, Calif.., and Toledo. The demonstration plant has a capacity of 350,000 gallons of waste-based, high-cetane diesel. Plans are to deploy the first commercial plant at Gridley, Calif., where rice harvest waste, wood waste and other local biomass residues will be converted to diesel fuel and renewable electricity.
> Amalgamated Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind., has introduced a new additive, Winter 3,000, for lowering the cold filter plugging point temperature of diesel fuel for improved winter operation. The new technology works directly with the nucleator receptors present in all diesel fuels to enhance the molecular bonding of paraffin and biodiesel particles. The improved additive-to-paraffin bonding allows for lower additive rates, as low as 1 part per 3,000 for acceptable cold point temperatures in nearly all areas in the U.S. The company adds that when combined with Amalgamated's Wax Dispersing Additive, the new additive provides unmatched winterization protection and performance.
> Biofuel Advance Research and Development LLC recently received an award from the National Algae Association as the best algae development company for 2009. The Philadelphia-based company is developing a photo bioreactor system for algae production. It also has permits, contractors and offtake agreements in place for a 60 MMgy biodiesel plant at the Keystone Industrial Port Complex outside Philadelphia. Plans are to begin production using soy oil and incorporate algae oil as it becomes available.
> Grant Menke has joined the staff of Iowa Renewable Fuels Association as biofuels manager. In his new role, Menke will focus on the promotion of biodiesel and biodiesel coproducts, the oversight of regulatory affairs and other duties. Prior to joining the IRFA, Menke served as the research assistance for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.
> Wika Instrument Corp., Lawrenceville, Ga., has introduced a process pressure gauge to the biodiesel industry as a durable gauge engineered to provide years of reliable service in harsh and demanding environments. The Wika Type 232.34 Bourdon Tube gauge's design and construction is suited for applications involving pressure pulsation, vibration, corrosive environments and a wide range of operating temperatures. Wika has developed a brochure for the biodiesel industry showing applications for its line of gauges across the production facility.
> A recent upgrade to The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's interactive map, TransAtlas, will allow marketers and distributors to locate product sources and high proportions of diesel drivers who might be interested in using methyl esters. TransAtlas now correlates biodiesel production locations with diesel vehicle density and fueling stations across the United States. "Flying J, for instance, might be able to plan the installation of a new station in an area where there is a high density of diesel vehicles and a production plant but little retail availability," said Kristi Moriarity, senior analyst for NREL. To view the map visit http://rpm.nrel.gov/transatlas/launch/.
> LiveFuels Inc. started pilot operations at the company's test facility in Brownsville, Texas. Consisting of 45 acres of open saltwater ponds, the facility will be used for tests on its low-cost, open-water algae system. To harvest the mix of native algae, LiveFuels uses a mix of oil-rich algae grazers, such as filter-feeding fish species and other aquatic herbivores that can be processed into oils and other coproducts. The company's concept is to harness flows of agricultural pollution from the Mississippi River along the Louisiana coast to support algae production. Based in San Carlos, Calif., LiveFuels has raised $10 million in private funding for its research and development