Wednesday, November 12, 2008


JATROPHAWORLD 2008 is a showcase of all the latest trends and
shifts occurring in the Jatropha value chain, bringing together on a
single platform, the best expertise to discuss and analyze the present
and future dynamics of Jatropha. JATROPHAWORLD is organized by the
Centre for Management Technology whose mission is to provide access to
the latest technology and business intelligence through high profile
alternative energy conferences.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Stricter rules on carrying vegetable oils in bulk by ship

Stricter rules on carrying vegetable oils in bulk by ship are among the changes introduced by amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78), which enter into force on 1 January 2007.

The revised Annex II regulations on carriage of noxious liquid substances carried in bulk (including chemicals and vegetable oils) introduce significant changes to the way certain products may be transported, in order to protect the marine environment from harm.

Revised Annex I regulations on carriage of oil by ship update and re-order the regulations as well as introducing some new rules.

Revised MARPOL Annex I (oil)
The revised MARPOL Annex I Regulations for the prevention of pollution by oil incorporates the various amendments adopted since MARPOL entered into force in 1983, including the amended regulation 13G (regulation 20 in the revised annex) and regulation 13H (regulation 21 in the revised annex) on the phasing-in of double hull requirements for oil tankers.

It also separates, in different chapters, the construction and equipment provisions from the operational requirements and makes clear the distinctions between the requirements for new ships and those for existing ships. The revision provides a more user-friendly, simplified Annex I.

New requirements in the revised Annex I include the following:

• Regulation 22 Pump-room bottom protection: on oil tankers of 5,000 tonnes deadweight and above constructed on or after 1 January 2007, the pump-room shall be provided with a double bottom.
• Regulation 23 Accidental oil outflow performance - applicable to oil tankers delivered on or after 1 January 2010; construction requirements to provide adequate protection against oil pollution in the event of stranding or collision.

Revised MARPOL Annex II (noxious liquid substances carried in bulk)
The revised Annex II Regulations for the control of pollution by noxious liquid substances in bulk includes a new four-category categorization system for noxious and liquid substances.

The new categories are:

• Category X: Noxious Liquid Substances which, if discharged into the sea from tank cleaning or deballasting operations, are deemed to present a major hazard to either marine resources or human health and, therefore, justify the prohibition of the discharge into the marine environment;
• Category Y: Noxious Liquid Substances which, if discharged into the sea from tank cleaning or deballasting operations, are deemed to present a hazard to either marine resources or human health or cause harm to amenities or other legitimate uses of the sea and therefore justify a limitation on the quality and quantity of the discharge into the marine environment;
• Category Z: Noxious Liquid Substances which, if discharged into the sea from tank cleaning or deballasting operations, are deemed to present a minor hazard to either marine resources or human health and therefore justify less stringent restrictions on the quality and quantity of the discharge into the marine environment; and
• Other Substances: substances which have been evaluated and found to fall outside Categories X, Y or Z because they are considered to present no harm to marine resources, human health, amenities or other legitimate uses of the sea when discharged into the sea from tank cleaning of deballasting operations. The discharge of bilge or ballast water or other residues or mixtures containing these substances are not subject to any discharge requirements of MARPOL Annex II.

The revised annex includes a number of other significant changes. Improvements in ship technology, such as efficient stripping techniques, has made possible significantly lower permitted discharge levels of certain products which have been incorporated into Annex II. For ships constructed on or after 1 January 2007, the maximum permitted residue in the tank and its associated piping left after discharge will be set at a maximum of 75 litres for products in categories X, Y and Z - compared with previous limits which set a maximum of 100 or 300 litres, depending on the product category.

Alongside the revision of Annex II, the marine pollution hazards of thousands of chemicals have been evaluated by the Evaluation of Hazardous Substances Working Group, giving a resultant GESAMP Hazard Profile which indexes the substance according to its bio-accumulation; bio-degradation; acute toxicity; chronic toxicity; long-term health effects; and effects on marine wildlife and on benthic habitats.

Transport of vegetable oils
As a result of the hazard evaluation process and the new categorization system, vegetable oils which were previously categorized as being unrestricted will now be required to be carried in chemical tankers.

The revised Annex includes, under regulation 4 Exemptions specifically regulation 4.1.3, a provision for the Administration to exempt ships certified to carry individually identified vegetable oils, subject to certain provisions relating to the location of the cargo tanks carrying the identified vegetable oil.

An MEPC resolution, MEPC.148(54) Guidelines for the transport of vegetable oils in deep tanks or in independent tanks specially designed for the carriage of such vegetable oils on board dry cargo ships, allows general dry cargo ships that are currently certified to carry vegetable oil in bulk, to continue to carry these vegetable oils on specific trades. The guidelines also take effect on 1 January 2007.

Consequential amendments to the IBC Code
An amended International Bulk Chemical Code (IBC Code) reflecting the changes to MARPOL Annex II, also enters into force on 1 January 2007. The amendments incorporate revisions to the categorization of certain products relating to their properties as potential marine pollutants, as well as revisions to ship type and carriage requirements following their evaluation by the Evaluation of Hazardous Substances Working Group.

Ships constructed after 1986 carrying substances identified in chapter 17 of the IBC Code must follow the requirements for design, construction, equipment and operation of ships contained in the Code.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hybrid Jatropha

SINGAPORE, Feb. 12, 2008
/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- CAT Ltd.,has acquired the planting and land use rights for
494,200 acres of land in Indonesia for the purpose of generating revenues from
a plantation for Jatropha plants. The agreement was signed on February 5, 2008
with Boulevard Holdings Group Ltd for the acquisition rights in growing
Jatropha, managing Jatropha plantations, and harvesting Jatropha seeds to be
crushed for its production of non-edible vegetable oil for bio-diesel and its
other bio-mass components. The strategic acquisition allows CAT to diversify
its growth and reduce risk in the Jatropha industry. Management believes that
the acquisition will be worth over $300 million within five years based on
projected global demand for Jatropha by-products. The Company noted that,
according to an August 24, 2007 Wall Street Journal article (which was also
cited on CNBC on September 14, 2007), Goldman Sachs projected that Jatropha
was one of the leading candidates for global biodiesel production.
Jatropha trees produce seeds containing up to 40% oil. When the seeds are
crushed and processed, the resulting oil can be used in a standard diesel
engine, while the residue can be processed into biomass to power electricity
plants. The by-products are often cited as a clean, green and prime source
for global biodiesel supply. The price of Jatropha-based biodiesel has
historically been highly profitable, ranging from US$650 to US$750 per ton,
based on current negotiated market futures.
CAT Founder Chairman Dr. Harry He said, "We expect CAT's Jatropha
production path to begin with immediate revenues from the sale of Crude
Jatropha Oil ("CJO") from existing harvests. We will concurrently apply our
innovative agro-technology processes to accelerate growth and yield for the
plantation; we expect that the entire 494,200 acres can be converted to our
fast-growth/high-yield technology in just two years. We believe that the new
acquisition rights on this one half million acres over the next five years
should increase the profit value of the Company."
The new acquisition was completed with 30% cash and 70% newly-issued
shares at a premium conversion of US$2.10 via convertible bonds. The
acquisition significantly expands CAT's current portfolio of approximately
50,000 acres of Jatropha plantations in Indonesia. CAT previously forecast a
fair profit value of US$45 million for the remaining fiscal year 2008 and will
continue to focus on Agro-Technological Research & Development for future
growth based on its existing profitable operations.
Dr. He continued, "This acquisition represents a major step forward in
CAT's strategy to build critical mass and economies-of-scale in production
operations. The rights to this extensive tract of land provide us with
security for our feedstock which -- when combined with our leading-edge
Jatropha cultivation, our Agro-Technology, and our trained work-force --
allows us to accelerate our CJO production in order to meet our revenue
targets. CAT's super-hybrid Jatropha plants in our current plantations are
able to achieve higher yields of CJO oil seed within a shorter growth period,
while positioning the biodiesel market to meet the world's fast-growing