"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Biofuels plc - all that is green is not golden

Lord Patel advised readers that on Friday 30 June 2006, Rt. Hon. Tony Blair, MP., the Prime Minister visited the Biofuels Corporation to open their Seal Sands plant -Teesside 1 where he met Mike Buzzacott BA. FCCA the Chairman and accountant who took over in March this year after 34 years at BP and was Group VP Petrochemicals.

Well there was a lot of happy talk about bright prospects... that have gone horribly sour in 12 months.

Now one year later the Company have put out a note for their Investors and shareholders on proposed re-structuring of the group .. and notification of an EGM on the 23rd July at 10.30 am when Investors will need to accept liquidation or under terms proposed in which Barclays effectively write off a debt of £40Mn they will take 94% of a new holding company (Newco) which will run the company.

Mike Buzzacot who 12 months ago was glad handing the PM says ..."The Board has concluded that ,given the existing financial structure..... The Board has accordingly succeeded in agreeing the terms of restructuring with Barclays ... unanimously recommended by the Board"

The Board explain that problems with the plant design (they are currently claiming against the suppliers Energea Umwellttechnologie GmbH for a "potential claim in respect of design deficiencies) higher vegetable oil prices, lower biodiesel prices - depressed by US biofuel production subsidies, and the high $/£ exchange rate have impacted plant operation, sales and profitability.

Fixed Assets are boooked at £34 Mn. with Liabilities of £96 Mn. and shareholders with negative £62 Mn and trading losses last year of £32 Mn.

Following the restructuring the Company (Biofuels plc) will own 6% of what is left and the shares will cease to be traded on the AIM market.

Poor old Tony, as soon as he walked away the share price started dropping.

One of the Directors leaving is Clare Spottiswoode CBE well known as Director General of OFGAS where she had a spat with US smooth but tough guy Richard Giordano, when she demanded BG be split so that it no longer had an interest in restricting access to gas pipes to keep its retail prices high - now of course making Centrica an assailable target for GAZprom.

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are apparently much impressed with this forceful lady and Downing Street and the Treasury asked her for advice over the then head of head of the telecoms regulator, David Edmonds about the take up of Broadband services. (Why do they so like tough lady cookies ? Sally Morgan, Anji Hunter, Carole Chaplin, the simply beautiful Lady Amos, Ruth Turner, Shriti Verdara , Baroness Scotland, Tessa Jowell, Patricia Hewitt ...mother figures or repressed homosexuals ?) - at the time she was also a Director of British Energy.

Claire Spottiswoode has also been a Director of Booker plc and when appointed to Biofuels was deputy Chairman at British Energy, a Director of Oslo based Petroleum Geophysical Services, and Chairman of Economatters a subsidiary of Crisil the Indian Credit Rating Agency ,director of Tullow Oil and Advanced Technology (UK). - un surprisingly she also Chairman of a Children's Nursey aptly called Busy Bees.

EconoMatters is the holding company of Gas Strategies Consulting Limited, Alphatania Limited, Overview Conferences Limited and Gas Matters Limited and was founded by Ms. Clare Spottiswoode Chairman, James Ball President and Chief Mentor, and David Ledesma Managing Director and Chief Executive who sold out to CRISIL on December 17th 2003.

They publish the excellent review journals for the gas industry Gas Matters, Gas Matters Today, LNG Focus and GasMatters Online - at the time Lord Patel, an avid reader felt Mr Ravimohan made a very shrewd move and got a bargain....and he also represented the vision of the emerging Asian energy players.

If you want to be well informed on Natural Gas / LNG / Energy matters these are essential reading - try this round up on the global LNG market and current / future demand and supply trends.

as a taster..

"In Barcelona , Mohamed Hassan Marican said that “LNG demand is expected to grow to 375 million tonnes by 2015” – an average of 10%/year – while “current forecasts indicate LNG production capacity will grow at about 8%/year until 2015, almost doubling the current volume”.

However, Marican introduced a note of realism by going on to point out that there have been few new project launches in recent times. Contrary to expectations at the start of 2006, the only green-field liquefaction project to reach final investment decision last year was Peru LNG. Moreover, several projects currently under construction are facing substantial delays.

“There are now serious concerns,” said Marican, “that there will be a supply crunch by 2010”.

You don't see that in the City Pages... now go and read about New Zealand's recently introduced energy / carbon tax - the world's first. it is not the only answer, it isn't the complete answer but ot sure as hell beats the fucking crazy carbon trading scheme the gamablers and munni jugglers of Europe are forcing down our throats.


Anonymous said...

"problems with the plant design"

any details?

Shutter said...

appear to be a new company - they have supplied two plants at largs Bay and Picton for Australian Renewable fuels which are both in operation.

Their site is ..

and not onyl does everything seem to be hunky dory they purchased the rights in the USA for the Energea technology in Nov.2006.

It was pointed out that this was a ...er..."potential" ...er.. claim

Presumably Barclays bank think they can make a going concern sufficient o off load it it at some time.

All the explanation appears to be market conditions, sales prices pressure, cost iof raw materials.

When His Majesty Tony opened the plant they were claiming great things, production at 56% etc., etc.,

To an observer thigs eem to have gone pear shaped at a remarkable speed.

Any enquiries are simply ignored - which given the imminent EGM/AGM is dictated by LSE rules etc.,

D1 oils is another company floated late 2004 which has had a fairly hectic ride and is on the way up again hyping Jatropha oil as their feedstock after problems with canola/rape

There website is ..


LSE ticker DOO

"During 2005 D1 initiated a major plant breeding and research programme for Jatropha curcas. The objective of the programme is to provide contracted growers with improved jatropha varieties and cutting edge jatropha agronomic practice. D1 considers itself a global leader in jatropha agronomy.
We are working on this programme with leading international plant breeders and tissue culture specialists in the Netherlands."

Jatropha is a member of the Euphorbiaceae, which have many memberws that produce exotic chemical - one is Ricin from the Castor oil plant. There are also piscicides in some S American vines of the family that the natives have learnt to use by crushing up and throwing in fish pools. It appears that they eat the resultant dead fish with noharm.

Jatropha oil has been used for centuries it appears as a lampoil (it is not only inedible but very unpleasant stuff) - (Lord Patel was trained as a botanist and has very grave reservations about monoculture of any Eurphorb species for it's fruits - they have tried many in Israel for decades - the only success I know of is the Christmas red bracted plant which is grown for it's decorative leaves.(And whose leaves are very poisonous - especially to young children)

Basically Jatropha oil is snake oil in disgise.

But what do I know ?

Anonymous said...

My idea for this sort of thing has always been to use the oscillatory flow reaction system on a small scale. Say 5 L per day as a cottage industry. This would be enough to provide the average punter with all of his fuel needs.

The current centralised production technique is flawed 'cos of the lack of sufficient quantities of oil - aren't they cathing fish in the far east and using them as an oil feedstock?

Shutter said...

Cottaging is OK but you should consider :

1. Waste products and their disposal

2. The local man who collects the taxes may take a different view of your activities

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish