April 23, 2014

Lufthansa to Evaluate Gevo's Renewable Jet Fuel

gevo_cmyk_blueGevo, Inc.announced yesterday that it has come to an agreement with Lufthansa to evaluate Gevo's renewable jet fuel with the goal of approving Gevo's alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) for commercial aviation use.

"ATJ, like the Fischer-Tropsch pathway, has the potential to use lignocellulosic waste as feedstock, but promises to do so at less cost than Fischer-Tropsch," said Alexander Zschocke, Lufthansa Group Senior Manager Aviation Biofuels.  Lufthansa is a leader in the marketplace for alternative fuels.

"By using isobutanol as a renewable raw material for producing jet fuel, the resulting jet fuel has the mixtures of molecules typical of petro-based jet fuel making it directly compatible with engines and infrastructure.  Renewable jet embodies the potential of cleaner, greener, and as we scale up, cost competitive drop-in fuels," said Patrick Gruber, Gevo's chief executive officer. "We greatly appreciate Lufthansa's and the European Commission's support of this effort. Through initiatives like this, the commercial airlines are seeking to prove out ATJ and move it towards commercialization. ATJ from Gevo's isobutanol is a clean burning, homegrown, drop-in jet fuel, and we have a potential route to deliver aviation biofuels at scale and at competitive cost." 

Gevo's patented ATJ fuel is truly a drop-in fuel, designed to be fully compliant with aviation fuel specifications and provide equal performance, including fit-for-purpose properties.

April 21, 2014

Renewable Energy Group Achieves One Billion Gallon Milestone

REG_LogoRenewable Energy Group, Inc. announced today that it has reached a new milestone, having sold a cumulative one billion gallons of advanced biofuel during its 17 year history.

“On behalf of the board of directors and employees of REG, I want to say thank you to all of our customers; vendors; investors; federal, state and local supporters; partners; and team members over the years without whom we could never have met this milestone,” said Daniel J. Oh, REG President and Chief Executive Officer.

REG achieved this milestone through investments in a fully integrated value chain including its manufacturing, sales & marketing, and supply chain management capabilities. The company also committed itself to research and development as well as continuous improvement, allowing it to streamline the production process and broadly expand the variety of raw materials used to make biodiesel.

“Since our inception we have endeavored to provide customers with a reliable and durable product that helps diversify the energy complex and increases energy security, improves our environment, and supports agriculture,” Oh said. “Our desire to continuously deliver quality products is a driving force behind REG reaching the billion gallon mark.”

“While we are a company that went from marketing 30,000 gallons of biodiesel in 1996 to more than 258 million gallons last year, we still remember what it took to get here and those who helped us,” said Jeff Stroburg, Chairman of the REG Board of Directors. “We remain committed to investing in our advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals capabilities.”

REG was formed and began operating as an independent company in 2006, as the successor to the biodiesel operations of West Central Cooperative in Ralston, IA, which first began producing biodiesel from a one million gallon per year batch plant in 1996. Private investors, including West Central, provided capital enabling the company to grow, both organically and through acquisitions in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey and Texas. In January 2012, REG became a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange and trades under the ticker REGI.

April 19, 2014

Obama Administration Delays Decision On Keystone XL Pipeline

The Obama administration announced that it was delaying a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline with this press release from the State Department.

On April 18, 2014, the Department of State notified the eight federal agencies specified in Executive Order 13337 we will provide more time for the submission of their views on the proposed Keystone Pipeline Project.

Agencies need additional time based on the uncertainty created by the on-going litigation in the Nebraska Supreme Court which could ultimately affect the pipeline route in that state.

In addition, during this time we will review and appropriately consider the unprecedented number of new public comments, approximately 2.5 million, received during the public comment period that closed on March 7, 2014.

The agency consultation process is not starting over. The process is ongoing, and the Department and relevant agencies are actively continuing their work in assessing the Permit application.

The Permit process will conclude once factors that have a significant impact on determining the national interest of the proposed project have been evaluated and appropriately reflected in the decision documents. The Department will give the agencies sufficient time to submit their views.

The American Petroleum Institute expressed their disappointment in the delay with the following press release.

The White House move to further the delay a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline after almost six years of exhaustive review is not in our national interest and Congress should act, API President and CEO Jack Gerard said today.
 

“It’s a sad day for America’s workers when politics trumps job creating policy at the White House,” said Gerard. “After nearly six years of review, repeated research on the pipeline’s benefits to economic security and job growth, numerous studies confirming no significant environmental impacts, with the backing of organized labor, and poll after poll showing the support of American voters – if the White House lacks the political leadership to make a decision, we call on Congress to represent the will of the people and act.

“Strong majorities in the House and the Senate have publicly called for Keystone XL’s approval. Now they have a chance to show the voters they are ready to put job creation, economic growth, and our country’s energy security first.

“It’s ironic that Vice President Biden is promoting pipeline development in response to the Ukrainian crisis, while the administration cannot make a decision on one of our own.”

API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 600 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.

April 17, 2014

SoCalGas Unveils Company-Branded, Public-Access Compressed Natural Gas Refueling Station

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GAS COMPANY LOGOSouthern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today unveiled its newly company-branded, public-access natural gas vehicle (NGV) refueling station in Los Angeles County. Located at the company's operating base at 44416 Division St. in the city of Lancaster, the retail station is open 24 hours a day and features a fast-fill dispenser to serve individual and fleet owners of NGVs, including sedans, vans, pickups, and school buses.

The new SoCalGas refueling station features two natural gas dispenser hoses served by a powerful natural gas compressor for improved fill speed and increased reliability. In addition, modern dispensing nozzles can be operated with one hand, while new overhead canopies protect customers from sun and rain. Energy-efficient LED signage enables motorists to compare natural gas fuel prices, and drought-tolerant landscaping adds environmentally friendly appeal.

SoCalGas currently operates 19 CNG refueling stations to serve its own utility fleet of more than 1,000 SoCalGas NGVs, with 11 of these stations open to the general public.

"We are pleased to offer refueling services under the trusted Southern California Gas Company brand to anyone who wants to take advantage of the economic and environmental benefits of natural gas," said Rodger Schwecke, vice president of customer solutions for SoCalGas. "We consider affordable, abundant, domestically produced natural gas as the energy of possibility and a fuel that can power a clean environment and propel our nation toward energy independence."

With the average price of natural gas at around $2 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE), drivers of natural gas vehicles can achieve annual cost savings up to 50 percent compared to gasoline, in addition to tremendous air quality benefits provided by NGVs.

April 15, 2014

Chevrolet and GMC Announce CNG Pricing Options

2015 Silverado 2500HD Bi-Fuel
Image © General Motors
Bi-fuel options, allowing either compressed natural gas or gasoline to power the 2015Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD pickups, will start at $9,500. A dedicated CNG option on the 2015 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana cargo and passenger short-wheelbase vans starts $10,825 for the three-tank system and $12,090 for the four-tank system.

“Based on current average fuel prices, CNG is more than a dollar cheaper than an equivalent gallon of gasoline, giving drivers and businesses an incentive to use CNG to power their vehicles,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president, General Motors Fleet and Commercial. “Given the consistent cost savings and expanding infrastructure, both commercial and individual interest in CNG vehicles continues to grow.”

The bi-fuel CNG option will be available on all 2015 Silverado and Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD single-rear-wheel models. The Express and Savana vans have fully dedicated CNG fuel systems – available in three- or four-tank models on cargo vans and exclusively with the three-tank design on passenger vans. 

GM warrants and validates the fuel systems on all of its CNG trucks, vans and the upcoming bi-fuel Chevrolet Impala sedan through its five-year/100,000-mile – whichever comes first – powertrain limited warranty. All major components associated with the CNG system also carry GM service part numbers for availability throughout the largest dealer network in the United States.

CNG versions of the Silverado and Sierra 2500HD double cab and crew cab and the full-size Express and Savana vans are on sale now. The Silverado and Sierra 2500HD regular cab and all 3500HD pickups go on sale in July.