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MI Articles Featured At APIC 2015 At the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) 2015 conference in Seoul last week, Singapore-based The Petrochemical Standard (TPS) published its Spring-Summer 2015 Catalyst magazine, in which it...

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Methanol Takes on LNG for Future Marine Fuels MI CEO Greg Dolan wrote an article for May's edition of Hydrocarbon Processing which makes the case for Methanol as the most viable marine fuel of the future. The article makes a strong case for methanol...

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European Parliament Endorses Amendments to Renewable... On Tuesday, the European Parliament voted in favour of the compromise which was reached with the European Council about legislative changes with regard to Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) impacting renewable...

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2015 China Methanol Industry Conference The China Nitrogen Fertilizer Industry Association (CNFIA) will hold its annual China Methanol Industry Conference on May 19-21 at the Telecom Hotel in Kunming.  MI is a sponsor of the conference, which...

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PUMP the Movie Now Available on Netflix MI Member Fuel Freedom Foundation's documentary PUMP is available now on Netflix. If you're a Netflix subscriber and haven't seen the film yet, now you can do so for free. PUMP tells the story of...

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MI Articles Featured At APIC 2015

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TPSAt the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) 2015 conference in Seoul last week, Singapore-based The Petrochemical Standard (TPS) published its Spring-Summer 2015 Catalyst magazine, in which it featured an in-depth series of articles on the global methanol industry.

Among these articles were an extensive interview with MI’s Greg Dolan on the US shale gas revolution, implications for the global methanol industry, and new/emerging methanol technologies and applications in a number of markets.  Chris Chatterton and Dom LaVigne also co-authored an article on the role methanol will continue to play in China’s energy security policies, even with the current low-price oil environment.

These articles and TPS’ Catalyst magazine can be accessed here, see pages 12-14 and 17-19.

Methanol Takes on LNG for Future Marine Fuels

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Stena LineMI CEO Greg Dolan wrote an article for May’s edition of Hydrocarbon Processing which makes the case for Methanol as the most viable marine fuel of the future.

The article makes a strong case for methanol as a less-expensive alternative to LNG and other options now that Emissions Control Areas (ECA) are coming into effect which require that the industry find cleaner alternatives to high-sulfur bunker fuel.

The article also discusses a number of methanol fuel demonstrations currently under way, including European ferry line Stena’s conversion of an engine of it’s RoPax ferry Germanica to run on methanol, and MI member Methanex’s agreement with with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd., Westfal-Larsen & Co A/S and Marinvest/Skagerack Invest to build seven new 50,000-dead-weight-ton ships with MAN Diesel & Turbo’s ME-LGI flex-fuel engines running on MeOH, fuel oil, MDO or MGO.  The full article can be found here.

European Parliament Endorses Amendments to Renewable Energy Legislation

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European Parliament (1)On Tuesday, the European Parliament voted in favour of the compromise which was reached with the European Council about legislative changes with regard to Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) impacting renewable fuel production and use.

In the current legislation all EU member states are required to ensure that 10% of energy consumed in transportation is renewable. The overall 10% target remains unchanged, but the approved amendments introduce several changes:

[i] So-called first generation biofuels (from crops grown on agricultural land) should account for no more than 7% of energy consumed in transportation by 2020;

[ii] Fuel suppliers must report the estimated levels of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions caused by ILUC;

[iii] The Commission must report and publish these ILUC-related emissions, and;

[iv] The Commission is required to report to Parliament and Council how these ILUC figures will be included in sustainability criteria.

For Power-to-Liquid technologies, including CO2 based methanol, it is important to note that such fuels are now included as renewable energy from non-biological origin provided the energy contained in the fuel is derived from renewable electricity.
“We succeeded in getting a very technical, technological and ideological file to go ahead,” said lead MEP Nils Torvalds(ALDE, FI), after Parliament endorsed the law.
But Mr Torvalds also wondered aloud whether the law, as amended, was tough enough.

“We had much higher goals. Both in terms of greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and technological progress. If Europe doesn’t move forward, it will be left behind. We also have the systemic problem of the blocking minority in Council, which sometimes develops into a dictatorship of the minority, with member states who are afraid of the future,” he added.
The endorsement by Parliament puts an end to a 3-year legislative procedure which has had a noticeable effect on investments and caused much uncertainty and concern in the EU biofuels market.
The European Associations representing the biodiesel chain (The European Oilseed Alliance, the European Biodiesel Board, and Fediol), while noting that the agreement is imperfect, were nonetheless happy that a compromise was able to be found which recognizes the importance of the EU biofuels sector and the investments made, while acknowledging the existing doubts around the concept and measurement of ILUC factors.

An amendment submitted by MI on CO2 based fuels was included in the final package. Many EU member states have shown an interest in using renewable methanol production as a liquid energy sequestration solution.
Member states are required to have implemented these legislative changes by 2017. More information can be found here.

2015 China Methanol Industry Conference

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CNFIAThe China Nitrogen Fertilizer Industry Association (CNFIA) will hold its annual China Methanol Industry Conference on May 19-21 at the Telecom Hotel in Kunming.  MI is a sponsor of the conference, which expects to attract 150-200 Chinese and international business executives and government officials.

The conference will focus on the latest development and application of coal gasification technology, methanol production technology, equipment, catalysts, and water treatment.  CNFIA will also publish its 2014 methanol industry statistical data, analyze the performance of the Chinese methanol industry in 2014 and forecasted 2015 market trends.

Chris Chatterton, MI’s Chief Operating Officer, and Jason Chesko, Senior Manager for Global Market Development at MI member company Methanex and Chairman of MI’s Global Fuel Blending Committee (GFBC) will be among the featured speakers at the conference, which will also include presentations by PetroChina, China Shenhua Energy Company, and other leading methanol industry stakeholders.

Chris and Kai Zhao, MI’s China Chief Representative, will also have meetings with senior government officials and stakeholders around the conference in Hong Kong and China (Beijing, Tianjin, Taiyuan) between May 12-22.

To learn more about the CNFIA conference and/or to register, please go here

PUMP the Movie Now Available on Netflix

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MI Member Fuel Freedom Foundation’s documentary PUMP is available now on Netflix. If you’re a Netflix subscriber and haven’t seen the film yet, now you can do so for free.PUMP Netflix

PUMP tells the story of America’s oil addiction, and points the way to a cleaner, domestically-produced, and more-affordable fuel future.
Additionally, MI will be sending out a DVD copy of PUMP to each of our member companies, along with copies of our newly printed 2015 edition of Methanol Milestones.This year’s Milestones features stories on our collaboration with the L.I.A.M Charitable Foundation to save lives and prevent bootleg alcohol poisoning in Indonesia, methanol as the marine fuel of choice of the future, the resurgence of the domestic methanol industry in the United States, Carbon dioxide recovery technology and more.  The electronic version of Milestones can be downloaded and shared here.

MI Engages Kai Zhou and Peking University as Chief China Representative

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Dolan at CPCIFThis week, MI CEO Greg Dolan and COO Chris Chatterton visited Beijing for a series of stakeholder engagement meetings.

Today, MI signed a contract with Peking University’s Center for Global New Energy Strategy Studies to engage Kai Zhao, CGNESS Academic Board Office Director as MI’s China Chief Representative.  Kai will be replacing Patrick Zhao who resigned from the retained position last month to pursue other opportunities.  Peking University is widely known as the “Harvard of China,” and CGNESS provides key policy leadership for the advancement of methanol energy applications across the country.  Kai presented last year at MI’s Washington Methanol Policy Forum and QAFAC’s Middle East Methanol Forum in Doha.

Greg Dolan presented on Wednesday at the China Petrochemical and Chemical Industry Federation’s Petrochemical Industry Development Conference on “Public Policy: Driving Global Methanol Fuel Developments.”  Greg and Chris meet with key officials from the China Alcohol and Clean Ether Fuel and Automobile Association and China Nitrogen Fertilizer Association.  They also met with China representatives from member companies Methanex and BP Chemicals.  Today, Greg and Chris, along with Kai Zhao meet with Dr. WANG Wenyuan, Division Director of the National Methanol-Fueled Vehicle Leading Office of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and representatives from the China Internal Combustion Engine Industry Association to discuss China’s methanol vehicle pilot program and opportunities for joint research efforts with MI and its member companies.

Vote for Methanol in the Marine Propulsion Awards!

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Marine PropulsionThe annual Marine Propulsion and Auxiliary Machine Awards recognize those in the marine industry who best address the operational challenges facing ship operators today.  Voting for the awards is open to the public through March 31.

MI member company Methanex’s wholly owned subsidiary Waterfront Shipping has been shortlisted in the “Shipowner Efficiency Award” category for new build ships it has commissioned that will be built with MAN ME-LGI flex engines running on methanol, fuel oil, marine diesel oil, or gas oil. Waterfront Shipping’s new ships will showcase methanol-based fuel as a promising alternative that reduces emissions and fuel costs.  Vote for Waterfront Shipping here.

Additionally, MAN Diesel & Turbo is nominated in the “Marine Engines Award” category for the ME-LGI (Liquid Gas Injection) engines which will power the Waterfront Shipping vessels.  The ME-LGI enables the use of fuels such as methanol. A Booster Fuel Injection Valve uses 300 bar hydraulic power to raise the fuel pressure to injection pressure.   The LGI engine can handle low-flash-point, low-sulphur fuels, with emissions of sulphur being almost completely eliminated.  Vote for MAN here.

Stena Named ‘Ship Owner of the Year’ for Work Developing Methanol Powered Stena Germanica

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FullSizeRenderThe development of the world’s first methanol powered RoRo ferry by the Stena Group, has been rewarded with a ‘Ship Owner of the Year’ title at the recent Green Ship Technology Conference (GST), held in Copenhagen, Denmark. Awards for the freight and logistics sector this week include environmental, social and performance related accolades spread across Europe.

The prize is awarded for ‘innovative new technology presented since 1 January 2014 that represents an advance for the marine environment’ and the jury selected the conversion of the Stena Germanica (the methanol bunker station for which is pictured above) on the grounds that it was ‘a strong 3rd alternative that is developing to meet the specific challenge of sustainable sea transport within the Emission Control Area (ECA)’.
Carl-Johan Hagman, CEO of Stena Line stated “We are naturally delighted about the jury naming our methanol project as the winner of this year’s GST Award. It is an important project, both for us as a company and for the entire industry, as we need more long-term sustainable fuel alternatives in order to remain competitive. We want to thank our partners Wärtsilä, MI member company Methanex, the Port of Gothenburg and the Port of Kiel.”  More information can be found here.

MI-LIAM Lifesaving Initiatives at Bali International Airport

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LIAM AIRPORT IMAGEDenpasar, Bali – The MI-LIAM Charitable Fund Community Education Program (CEP) just achieved significant public awareness at the Denpasar (Bali) International Airport.  LIAM staff in Bali were able to secure permission from local airport and health authorities to display bilingual banners in the Arrivals Hall of Denpasar Airport, just in front of the airport’s medical clinic.

The banners advise visitors and locals returning to Bali about the dangers of consuming adulterated alcoholic beverages, how to identify symptoms of suspected methanol poisoning, and where to seek treatment.

MI and LIAM view this as a significant win that will help to foster greater awareness of adulterated beverages and to better enable visitors and locals in Bali to protect their health. MI recently secured a speaking opportunity for The LIAM Foundation at the upcoming Enmore (CBI) 10th International MeOH Week 2015 in Bali on June 4-5.  Lhani & Tim Davies and local LIAM staff will present on the work they have been doing, similarly to the presentation which Lhani and Tim gave at the IMPCA Singapore conference in November.

Dom LaVigne from MI’s Singapore office commented, “Given the tremendous work being done in Bali under the MI-LIAM CEP, we felt it was very important and timely to have discussions on consumption of methanol and related health effects included at the conference, and also as a way to inform delegates to make smart choices if they choose to consume alcoholic beverages while staying in Bali.”

State of California Approves DME for Legal Use as a Vehicle Fuel

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Oberon LogoMI Member Company Oberon Fuels, Inc., the first company to produce fuel-grade dimethyl ether (DME) in North America, announced today that DME is now approved for use as vehicle fuel in the state of California. This latest approval builds on earlier approvals and ongoing work by other regulatory bodies, including the US Environmental Protection Agency, the California Air Resources Board, and ASTM International, and will help accelerate commercial adoption of this low carbon fuel.

“The use of fuels like DME will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improve air quality and lead to a positive impact on California and the environment,” said Kristin Macey, director of the Division of Measurement Standards at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which issued the latest approval of DME fuel.

DME is a clean-burning, non-toxic fuel that can be derived from renewable sources. Its high cetane number and quiet combustion, as well as its inexpensive propane-like fueling system, make it an excellent, inexpensive diesel alternative.

“The State of California’s approval builds upon the growing body of certifications that demonstrate DME is a low carbon fuel that meets both industry standards for performance and environmental standards for compliance,” said Rebecca Boudreaux, Ph.D., president of Oberon Fuels. “These approvals are a key step in increasing confidence among distributors, engine manufacturers and fleet owners that DME is ready for commercial markets, which will benefit Oberon as we build out a global supply of DME fuel.”

The State of California’s legalization of DME for use as vehicle fuel is the latest milestone for the growing DME industry. Earlier this month, the California Air Resources Board published their Multimedia Assessment Tier 1 report on DME, which evaluates publicly available data on the effect of DME on air, soil, and water.

Last August, the EPA approved biogas-based DME for inclusion under the Renewable Fuel Standard and made it eligible for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) credits based on EPA findings that the fuel achieves a 68 percent reduction in greenhouse gases.

In February 2014, ASTM International, a globally recognized organization that develops technical standards, released a specification for DME as a fuel. ASTM D7901 provides guidance for fuel producers, engine and component suppliers, and infrastructure developers on DME purity, testing, safety, and handling.  More information can be found here