Contact for press

You can contact us by:

Rocio Castro. Communication Department.

Media Kit

Follow us on:

Keep up-to-date on the latest at the Abengoa website:


The Focus-Abengoa Foundation and F.O. Licht inaugurate the seventh edition of World Biofuels 2008

May 13, 2008

Seville, 13 May 2008. The Focus-Abengoa Foundation together with F.O. Licht, today opened the World Biofuels 2008 conference that takes place for the seventh consecutive year at the Hospital de los Venerables in Seville. The opening was attended by Professor José B. Terceiro, chairman of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation and vice-Chairman of Abengoa; Professor Josep Borrell, chairman of the Committee on Development of the European Parliament, and Javier Salgado, chairman of Abengoa Bioenergy.

This edition of the World Biofuels conference has been structured into seven blocks (world ethanol markets; biofuels and the environment; world biodiesel markets; the future of biofuel use and the biofuels business; evolution in the implementation of the Biofuels Directive; and biofuels and sustainability) to analyse the potential opportunities and possible risks that arise from the creation of a global transport biofuels market, as well as the optimum alternatives for developing this mar.

After the opening session, Bob Dinneen, chairman of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA); Joel Velasco, from UNICA, the Brazilian sugar cane industry union; Rob Vierhout, secretary general of the European Bioethanol Fuel Association (eBIO), and Shashank Inamdar, general manager of PRAJ Industries, looked at the current situation in the bioethanol market in the USA, Brazil and Europe. Javier Salgado, chairman of Abengoa Bioenergy examined the sustainability of biofuels and the opportunities in this market in the long term.

The bioethanol market has continued to grow strongly and passed some important milestones in 2007, including the approval of the Energy Bill in the USA, which marks the start of a new energy era and aims to reduce the country’s external dependency on oil and improve energy efficiency. The Council of the European Union also approved a binding target for biofuel consumption of 10% by 2020 for all member states.

The transport sector and emissions

On day two of this series of conferences in Seville, which has brought together managers and representatives from the leading companies and associations in the biofuels sector as well as international institutions and organisations, participants will look at biofuels’ relationship with the environment, with special emphasis on the transport sector and its emissions, while attempting to answer questions such as “Is the use of biofuels sustainable?” and “How to develop a sustainable transport system that reduces greenhouse gas emissions”. It will also analyse the current world biodiesel market.

In the afternoon session, representatives from various administrations and biofuel organisations will discuss the future of the ethanol business and the affect of the new European regulation on chemical products (REACH; Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) on the sector and they will analyse the evolution of the European Directive in the EU’s most important countries.

Specifically, the draft version of the directive to promote the use of energy from renewable sources in the EU, which is currently under discussion, contemplates strict sustainability criteria for biofuels in terms of greenhouse gas emissions during their life cycle (a minimum emissions reduction of 35% compared to conventional petrol) as well as a ban on growing raw materials for these biofuels on land with a high degree of biodiversity or a high carbon content.

The issues for the third and final day of World Biofuels 2008 will focus on the criteria of sustainability and alternative crops, and the dichotomy in land use for energy crops and food crops. The day will also look at the market for by-products (protein for animal fed and glycerine) obtained from the production processes for bioethanol and biodiesel respectively.

The seventh World Biofuels Conference will form part of the activities of the Focus-Abengoa Forum on Energy and Climate Change that has been launched by Abengoa through the Focus-Abengoa Foundation. The principal objective of the forum is to become a valid instrument for reflection and action at the highest level to promote understanding and the creation of public opinion in this subject area.

This forum, promoted by the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, focuses on those fields in which Abengoa can make relevant contributions in the different areas of international, industrial and technological relations or in any other sphere, thanks to its business experience, in relation to the triple objective of economic, social and environmental development that define sustainable development.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation was created in 1982 as the outcome of the cultural efforts begun by Abengoa back in 1972 with its publication of Sevillian Topics and Iconography of Seville. During this same period, a collection of documents, books and engravings on the Kingdom of Seville and Sevillian authors was also amassed. This initial cultural impetus led Abengoa’s leaders to realise the importance of going beyond the company’s merely technological functions with activities that would benefit society. Thus, the Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla Foundation was born.

Abengoa Bioenergy is the only global producer of bioethanol with a presence in the United States, Brazil and the European Union, the three largest markets in the world. It currently has an installed production capacity of 1.475 billion litres from ten plants, using various types of raw materials (maize, wheat, barley, sorghum and sugar cane) and technologies

It has recently achieved success producing bioethanol from ligno-cellulose biomass in its pilot plant in York (Nebraska, USA), a raw material that is not used for food, using a technology developed by its subsidiary Abengoa Bioenergy NT. It also plans to open a pilot plant before the end of 2008 using similar technology to the one in York, at the facilities of Biocarburantes de Castilla y León (a jointly owned plant with Ebro Puleva), but with a much larger capacity (six million litres) that will use cereal straw as its raw material. Furthermore, in 2007 Abengoa Bioenergy signed various agreements with the US Department of Energy and with the Spanish government to develop new technologies for producing bioethanol from the fermentation and gasification of cellulose biomass.

© 2019 Abengoa. All rights reserved