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The Focus-Abengoa Foundation and F.O. Licht launch the ninth edition of “World Biofuels 2010”

May 19, 2010

Seville, 19 May 2010. The Focus-Abengoa Foundation together with F.O. Licht, today opened the “World Biofuels 2010” conference that takes place for the ninth consecutive year at the Hospital de los Venerables, the headquarters of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation in Seville. The conference was opened by William Mganga Ngeleja, Minister of Energy and Minerals of Tanzania; José B. Terceiro, President of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation and Vice-chairman of Abengoa, and Javier Salgado Leirado, Chairman and CEO of Abengoa Bioenergy.

The main issues that will be tackled in this new edition of World Biofuels include the sustainability of the life cycle of biofuels and the process of procuring raw materials to produce them; the mechanisms for verifying their sustainability; the globalisation of the biofuels markets; the raw materials and the current situation of the conversion technologies used to produce second generation biofuels.

Biofuels and sustainability

The conference will analyse the sustainability of biofuels in terms of reducing greenhouse gases; changes in the use of cultivation land recently approved in the USA and the European Union; as well as the level of definition and implementation of the accounting and verification systems for these emissions, and the certification systems for raw materials.

The source and the cultivation of raw materials for biofuels has become one of the determining factors in their sustainability. During the course of the conference, the availability of agricultural resources (new land and the increase in crop yields) and water resources will also be analysed – neither of which should lead to deforestation or loss of biodiversity. The debate will also look at how to ensure that the effects of indirect land use change (iLUC) on greenhouse gas emissions become a requirement for sustainability, once the scientific and technical community reaches a consensus on the methods for comprehensively, reliably and verifiably measuring these effects.

The globalisation of biofuels markets

Representatives from the main biofuels producers’ associations in the USA, Brazil and the European Union will analyse the evolution of the bioethanol and biodiesel markets in 2009, in which demand has continued to grow at high rates. The second half of 2008, when the raw material prices significantly fell despite the high consumption of biofuels, showed that growth in this market had no effect on the prices of cereals and oil seeds, which remained stable in 2009, and in some cases even declined by a considerable amount.

Development of the second generation biofuels industry

Cellulose biomass (agricultural, forestry and urban by-products, and new crops and dedicated tree species) are seen as one of the raw materials of the future for the introduction of second generation biofuels in the market. Representatives from the most important companies in the sector will report on their experiences using these materials and the technology costs for converting biomass (cereal straw and maize by-products) into cellulose bioethanol, based on the experiences of the pilot plants in Spain and the USA, as well as their vision of the industrial and commercial viability of these technologies and their implementation periods in the market.

The conference will end with an analysis of the use of biofuels obtained from algae as fuel for the aviation industry, as well as the expected time horizon for their commercial implementation.

World Biofuels 2010 forms part of the Focus-Abengoa Forum on Energy and Climate Change, which aims to promote, through public discussions, a genuine open platform for the research, presentation and debate of ideas and results through those actions that it believes are relevant at any given time based on the nature of the issues to be analysed.

Abengoa Bioenergy is one of the leading producers of bioethanol in the world and a leader in Europe, with a combined installed capacity in the USA, Europe and Brazil of more than 1.5 billion litres. It currently operates ten plants that produce bioethanol, biodiesel, sugar and electricity. Abengoa Bioenergy is also one of the leading global companies in the world for developing bioethanol production technologies from ligno-cellulose biomass.

All of the companies in Abengoa Bioenergy’s supply chain must sign a social responsibility code based on the SA 8000 international standard, through which they agree to abide by all the aspects for social and environmental responsibility contained in the United Nations’ Global Compact.

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