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Australia Provides $3 Million for Pollution-Reduction Scheme

Australian minister for the environment and heritage Ian Campbell recently announced $3 million in government funding to support a local initiative encouraging communities and individuals to walk, bicycle, use public transportation, and limit the use of private vehicles. According to Campbell, it is expected that more than 218,000 people in Western Australia (WA) could receive information kits on alternative travel fuel options by 2009 under the program, leading to a potential reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of up to 371,000 tons. “We expect this WA project will result in annual savings of more than 15 million fewer car trips and 240 million fewer car kilometers,” said Campbell. “Residents in the suburbs of Victoria Park, Canning, Gosnells, Stirling, Vincent, Perth, Bassendean, Swan, Melville, Rockingham, and Mandurah will be the first areas targeted to receive information packs containing details of walking, cycling, and public transport choices available in their community.” Campbell noted that the project, a joint venture between the governments of Australia and WA, is being funded under the Australian government’s Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program. Contact: Office of Minister Campbell, Web site: www.deh.gov.au/minister/env.

Blue Diamond To Build Alternative Fuel Plants in Belize, United States

Blue Diamond Ventures, Inc., an agriculture, biofuels, and commercial development company with operations in Belize and the United States, recently announced plans to build new ethanol and biodiesel facilities in Oklahoma and Belize. According to Blue Diamond, the company plans to initially construct a 3.5-million-gallon-per-year (MGY) ethanol facility in Belize that will use sugar cane and molasses as feedstock. The company also plans to build a five-MGY biodiesel facility in Belize that will use vegetable oils and animals fats as feedstock. Blue Diamond chairman and CEO John Quincey Moaning said he envisions expanding the capacity of the Belize ethanol plant to as much as fifty MGY as local farmers grow more sugar cane to take advantage of the market for their product. Contact: Robert Gasich, phone: 877-295-3981, ext 1.

Toronto, Ontario, To Host 2006 Windsor Workshop

The Windsor Workshop, a transportation technologies and fuels forum that has been offered for more than two decades, will be held June 5 through 7 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel in Toronto, Ontario. The workshop will open the morning of Monday, June 5, with a plenary session titled “Energy Technology Drivers for Change,” followed by a full day of concurrent sessions offered in two separate streams—policy and technology. Session topics will include “Sustainable Transportation Governance in Canada,” “Hybrids,” “Advanced Diesel Engines,” “Efficiency Standards for Trucks in Japan,” “U.S. Light Truck Fuel Economy Standards,” “U.S. Ethanol and Biodiesel Programs,” “CPPI—Renewable Fuel Standard,” and “Update on Advances and New Technologies.” The event will continue the following morning with an opening panel addressing “Oil Supply and Demand: Filling the Gap—How Far Can You Go With Technology Options.” Concurrent sessions offered throughout the remainder of the day will cover topics in three separate tracks—demonstration, near-term fuel technology, and future fuel technology. Individual sessions will focus on such issues as hybrid demonstration, natural gas, hydrogen infrastructure, heavy-duty demonstration, ethanol, transition to hydrogen and fuel cells, hydrogen demonstration, biodiesel, and fuel cell research and development. The workshop’s third and final day will open with a plenary titled “Transportation Energy in 2025—Options, Trade-offs and Risk Management” and conclude with an afternoon “Open Mike Discussion.” Contact: Windsor Workshop, Web site: www.windsorworkshop.ca.

Fiat To Supply NG Engines in Support of Chinese Clean Air Effort

Italian automaker Fiat recently announced it has been contracted to supply the Beijing Public Transport Company with one thousand natural gas (NG) engines in an effort to help reduce pollution prior to the 2008 Olympic Games. According to Fiat, this supply of NG heavy engines is the largest ever made by Fiat Group. The company noted that the engines, which will be manufactured at the Fiat Power train Technologies facility in Turin, would be used on locally manufactured buses serving the city in the coming months. During 2002 to 2004, Fiat supplied Beijing Public Transport with 320 NG engines that were developed through a research and development program financed by the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory. Contact: Fiat, Web site: www.fiat.com.

Lannen Tehtaat Looks To Commence Ethanol Production in Finland

Finnish food company Lannen Tehtaat recently conducted a feasibility study on the launching of ethanol production in either western or southwestern Finland. According to the company, the study reveals that these regions have sufficient barley-growing farming capacity to supply raw material for an ethanol plant, as well as a number of animal feed factories that could use some of the byproducts from such a facility as raw material for their animal feeds. Lannen Tehtaat noted that the preliminary plan involves the ethanol plant producing 83.5 million liters (about 22.1 million gallons) of ethanol per year. The tentative cost estimate of the investment is 45 million euros (about $54.5 million), with production anticipated to be capable of commencing as early as mid-2008. Following the preliminary studies, Lannen Tehtaat has decided to conduct an environmental impact assessment for a factory investment in Sakyla, on the Iso-Vimma industrial estate. The company estimates that the procedure will take no more than one year to complete. Contact: Matti Karppinen, Lannen Tehtaat, phone: +358-10-402-00.

CarSalesIndia.com Launches New Car Pool Feature

CarSalesIndia.com, a leading online car portal in India, recently announced the launch of a new free car pool feature designed to help reduce vehicular greenhouse gases in the country. Sams Auto Trade (I) Pvt, Ltd., is the company in charge of the portal. While the typical carpooling model involves friends, colleagues, or neighbors sharing a vehicle and splitting the cost of gas or parking expenses, CarSalesIndia.com noted that other options include arranging for a van or commercial vehicle to pick up several people from the same location for drop-off at various destinations. “This gives us an opportunity to show our concerns over the growing global warming issue,” said CarSalesIndia.com chairman and founder Samuel Jeyakumar. “This way we provide an opportunity to all Indians to take some responsibility and, where possible, make their contribution to save our environment.” Contact: CarSalesIndia.com, Web site: www.carsalesindia.com.

Milan, Piaggio To Cooperate on Hybrid Scooter Trial

Italian news service Agenzia Giornalistica Italia (AGI) recently reported that scooter manufacturer Piaggio has entered into an agreement with the city council of Milan, Italy, to test the company’s hybrid electric scooters on city streets. According to AGI, the year-long program will test two prototype Piaggio HyS model scooters in an effort to evaluate the effectiveness of two-wheeled vehicles in helping limit area emissions. The news service noted that the city would utilize the vehicles to perform various tasks, gathering performance data for integration into a technical evaluation which it will provide to Piaggio upon completion of the program.

New Zealand Regional Council To Begin Testing Area Emissions

The Greater Wellington Regional Council of New Zealand recently announced that a new mobile air quality monitoring station has been installed along a highway in the city of Lower Hutt in an effort to measure local cars’ contribution to air pollution. According to the council, vehicle emissions are currently the region’s biggest contributor to air pollution, accounting for 94 percent of nitrogen oxides, 78 percent of carbon monoxide, and a large amount of the fine particles in the region’s air. The council noted that Greater Wellington already monitors air quality throughout the region, with other stations in Wellington, Masterton, Upper Hutt, and Wainuiomata. “We use the information to assess the effectiveness of our air quality management strategies, for example, providing public transport and encouraging people to tune their cars,” said Greater Wellington air quality scientist Perry Davy. Contact: Wellington Regional Council, Web site: www.gw.govt.nz.

Norwegian Investor Group Acquires Assets of Think Nordic

Norwegian investment group InSpire recently assumed control of electric vehicle developer Think Nordic, with the goal of fostering an international market through partnering and license production. Additionally, InSpire will evaluate the use of new advanced batteries and fuel cells in the vehicles. Inspire partners, including Think founder Jan Otto Ringdal, have acquired all the Think Nordic assets, including IPR and the brand name TH!NK, as well as the management team and local investors. InSpire’s initial aim is to prepare for the production and introduction of the new TH!NK City model, which Ford developed while it owned Think. The new owners view the Think facility in Norway as a base for technology development, where the initial vehicles will be completed. Contact: Think, Web site: www.think.no.

Spain To Host 2006 LNG Technology Global Summit

LNG TECH Global Summit 2006, an event focused on the future of the production, storage, and transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG), will be held May 23 and 24 at the Melia Sevilla Hotel in Seville, Spain. The summit will commence the morning of Tuesday, May 23, with a welcoming address from BP Projects Technology Unit leader Mark Howard, followed by a keynote address titled “LNG Technology and Its Impact on Trade.” Later in the morning, sessions will address such topics as “Plants of the Future: Innovations in Liquefaction Process Technology” and “Operation, Maintenance and Safety of Liquefaction Trains,” while a series of concurrent sessions in the afternoon will focus on emerging methods of carrier propulsion and current issues in LNG storage. Sessions later in the day will provide an overview of survey issues associated with new LNG carriers and consider the integration of digital automation into LNG facilities. The event’s second and final day will open with the presentation of a case study on the transfer of LNG from ship to terminal using onboard regasification, followed by a full day’s worth of sessions addressing “Offshore LNG Transfer,” “Design and Development of Gravity-based LNG Reception Terminals,” “Proposed Import Terminals,” “Boil-off Monitoring, Management and Handling,” “Safety and Security Assessment and Procedures,” and “Emerging Methods of Monetizing Stranded Gas.” Contact: LNG TECH Global Summit, Web site: www.lngsummit.com.

Spanish Energy Firms Join To Produce Biodiesel

Spanish energy firms Repsol YPF and Acciona Energia recently signed a new agreement under which the companies will develop and build up to six biodiesel plants that would produce more than 1 million tons of the alternative fuel annually. The companies said the new production facilities would utilize a vegetable oil feedstock derived from raw materials including colza and sunflower. The project will require a combined estimated investment of more than 300 million euros (about $368 million). According to Repsol YPF, the group of plants would be operational between “the first semester in 2007 and the second semester in 2009.” Initially, Repsol YPF said the project would include the installation of biodiesel production plants near the company’s Repsol YPF Group refineries in Spain. Additionally, Acciona will participate in the construction of a biodiesel plant in Leon, where development by Repsol YPF has already begun. Contact: Repsol YPF, Web site: www.repsolypf.com/eng/home/home.asp.

Taiwanese Energy Bureau Unveils New Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Taiwan News recently reported that the Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Energy held a press conference in Taipei this past weekend for the introduction of a newly-designed hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). According to Taiwan News, the bureau noted that the HEV, which was developed by the Industrial Technology Research Institute, exceeds the national energy-efficiency standard for vehicles by up to 15 percent.

British Conservatives Unveil ‘Green’ Transportation Plan

The U.K.’s Conservative Party, led by member of parliament David Cameron, recently announced a new “radical” agenda intended to address climate change and make the country’s transportation options “greener.” The plan establishes a target to reduce average emissions produced by new cars to 100 grams per kilometer by 2022 using “an incentive program which could include differential rates of duty, expanding the existing company car scheme, and exempting greener cars from parking and congestion charges.” Additionally, the plan would “[make] it easier for people to walk and cycle on short journeys” and “improve public transport.” “We must give people, particularly those living in our towns and cities, serious travel options that don’t involve the car,” said Cameron. “Around a quarter of all car trips made are less than two miles in length. If we’re serious about tackling climate change, and, incidentally, about improving public health too, we need to help make it possible for people to walk or cycle on these shorter journeys.” Contact: Conservative Party, Web site: www.conservatives.com.

U.K. Airport Acquires New Electric Tractors for Ground Fleet

Jumbotugs, a leading British designer and manufacturer of tow and platform tugs, recently announced that the Norwich International Airport is taking delivery of two new battery-powered Jumbotug electric tractors to be used for pulling baggage trains and light maintenance duties. According to the company, Norwich now has a fleet of six Jumbotug electric tractors—four PT350s and two JT6E models. Jumbotugs noted that the PT350 platform tug, which is specifically designed to provide short-haul airlines with a quick turnaround time, is capable of towing weights of up to 15,000 kilograms (kg) and carrying up to an extra 2,000 kg on the rear platform. The JT6E is a four-wheel-drive, heavy-duty vehicle that tows up to 6,000 kg and can also carry an additional 250 kg of last-minute luggage on the rear platform. “Reducing vehicle emissions from airport aprons is becoming an increasingly important issue,” said Jumbotugs international sales manager Roger James. “Forward-thinking airports like Norwich International are already finding ways to replace their airside fleets of combustion engine vehicles with lower-emission alternatives.” Contact: Jumbotugs, Web site: www.jumbotugs.co.uk.

Articles released with permission from: EIN Publishing – Copyright 2005 by EIN Publishing, Inc.
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