Biobased and Renewable Products Update
February 8, 2018
USDA Cancels Farm-To-Fleet Biofuel Program
On February 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announced in the Federal Register that it has withdrawn support for the Farm-to-Fleet Biofuel Production Incentive (BPI) program. CCC determined that, due to limited available funds, the BPI program is no longer a priority. USDA and the U.S. Department of Navy (Navy) launched the Farm-to-Fleet program in 2013 to provide incentive funds to companies refining biofuel in the United States from certain domestically grown feedstocks converted to drop-in biofuel for delivery to the Navy. As reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy (BRAG®) blog post, USDA Issues A Notice of Available Funds For The Farm-To-Fleet Biofuel Production Incentive, in December 2016, CCC announced the availability of up to $50 million in funding to support the BPI payments through 2018. The current notice states that CCC is cancelling funding for BPI payments to companies for deliveries not yet solicited or procured, and withdrawing support for biofuel blends solicited by the Navy. BPI payments required under the existing commitments will continue to be made.
European Commission Launches Investigation Into Biodiesel From Argentina
On January 31, 2018, the European Commission (EC) launched a new investigation into subsidized imports of biodiesel from Argentina. The investigation was initiated based on a complaint filed by the European Biodiesel Board (EBB) on behalf of producers representing over 25 percent of the European Union (EU) biodiesel production. The EC determined that the complaint includes sufficient evidence that the Argentinean biodiesel producers have benefitted from a number of subsidies granted by the Government of Argentina. The investigation provides another means for imposing tariffs on biodiesel imported from Argentina following successful challenges to the anti-dumping (AD) duties set in 2013. In September 2017, the EU reduced the AD duties for Argentinean biodiesel to between 4.5 and 8.1 percent, from initial rates of 22-25.7 percent.
Neste Renewable Fuels Reduces GHG Emissions By 8.3 Million Tons
On February 5, 2018, Neste, a member of BRAG, announced that the use of its renewable fuels in place of fossil fuels resulted in a reduction of 8.3 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The significant emission reduction is primarily attributed to Neste’s MY Renewable Diesel and Neste’s increased production volumes at its three renewables-producing refineries. The reduction was calculated by comparing the lifecycle GHG emissions of the renewable fuels Neste produced in 2017 to that of conventional diesel. Neste states that use of its renewable diesel also improves local air quality by reducing exhaust emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulates, and carbon monoxide.
Alberta Innovates, Silvacom Launch BRIMS To Support Alberta’s Bioeconomy
On January 25, 2018, Alberta Innovates announced the launch of the Bio-Resource Information Management System (BRIMS), which was developed in conjunction with Silvacom Ltd. BRIMS is a publicly available data and information management system that collates inventories from forestry, agriculture, and municipality sectors to create a centralized, comprehensive spatial warehouse of biomass, ecosystem services, and land-use data. Silvacom and Alberta Innovates designed the system with data partnerships from the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) and the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC). BRIMS is intended to advance the bioeconomy in Alberta by informing bio-resource management and investment decisions.
|■||Business Insider, “U.S. EPA Hopes To Decide Soon On Ethanol Waiver: Administrator”|
|■||Qantas, “World First US-Australia Biofuel Flight Takes Off”|
|■||Centre for Process Innovation, “New Pilot Plant Converts Used Cooking Oil Into Biodiesel”|