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May

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

May 16, 2008

Seville, May 16th, 2008.- The Focus-Abengoa Foundation and F.O. Licht yesterday closed the seventh edition of the World Biofuels 2008 conference which has taken place over the last three days in Seville, bringing together more than 160 representatives from biofuel producers and associations, oil companies, car manufacturers, representatives from various European administrations, raw material producers and consultants.

World Biofuels 2008 examined the growth (more than 20%) in biofuel demand in the three major world markets (USA, Brazil and the EU), as well as looking at the approval of new legislation and political decisions in the USA and the EU that promote greater use of biofuels and which will enlarge the existing world market.

World Biofuels 2008 rejected the unsubstantiated claims being made by various economic, political, social and environmental organisations against biofuels, accusing them of the rise in food raw materials, the starvation being suffered in various underdeveloped countries and of deforestation and loss of biodiversity in some regions around the world.

On the other hand, the Conference ratified the importance of biofuels as one of the few useful, reliable and available instruments capable of substituting petrol and diesel in transport and mitigating the impact of these fossil fuels on climate change, as reported by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its meeting of November 2007. The Conference also showed the ability of biofuels to improve air quality and their growing use as a fuel in new and less polluting technologies being developed by the car industry.

The debate between food and fuel, as well as the analysis of alternative crops outside of this debate, was once again a subject at the Conference. This debate has also been analysed from the point of view of animal feed, since some 40% of raw materials used in bioethanol production based on cereals is transformed into DDGS, a product with a high protein content that is highly demanded in the animal feed market.

Special emphasis was placed on the issue of sustainability in relation to the target set by the EU to establish strict sustainability criteria for biofuels, both in terms of greenhouse gas emissions during their life cycle (a minimum emissions reduction of 35% compared to conventional petrol) as well as the prohibition on growing raw materials for biofuels on land with a high degree of biodiversity or high carbon content.

The Conference agreed about the urgent need to develop the definition of a certification system that, without replacing the regulation and good governance capacity of each State, would be designed to have international scope and to provide an operational framework capable of verifying that biomass and biofuels are grown and processed in a sustainable way. The Conference also believed that it is important that these certification systems incorporate incentives to promote the use of sustainable biomass and biofuels.

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.



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