Combine and collaborate

Groups realign to advance goals
By Holly Jessen | December 27, 2010
Sweet sorghum as an advanced biofuel feedstock will get a boost from a new collaboration of the National Sorghum Producers and the Sweet Sorghum Ethanol Association. With NSP in the lead role and SSEA providing organizational support, the collaboration committee will develop and implement a legislative advocacy program. NSP has already been working with the U.S. EPA on certifying sweet sorghum as an advanced biofuel feedstock through the renewable fuel standard petition process. "Elevating awareness of sweet sorghum's vast potential as a biofuel feedstock is a precondition to building a sweet sorghum ethanol industry," says Steve Vanechanos, chairman of EPEC Biofuels Holdings Inc. and chairman of the joint collaboration committee In Europe, the European Bioethanol Fuel Association (eBIO) and the older, France-based European Union of Ethanol Producers have merged to form the Ethanol Producers Union for Renewable Energy (ePURE), representing 80 percent of the installed production capacity in Europe. "The need to merge was obvious," says Lutz Guderjahn, COO of CropEnergies AG and vice president of ePURE. "Today's political agenda is simply too vast to be handed by companies standing on their own." In the biodiesel industry, a second group has been formed to represent the industry in addition to the well-established National Biodiesel Board. A group of biodiesel advocates formed the Global Biofuels Alliance Inc. as a new nonprofit trade association for small to mid-size biofuel producers, marketers, distributors and associates. The alliance will first focus on reinstating and extending the Federal Biodiesel Blenders Tax Credit, adding that it expects that priorities will eventually shift from "the traditional tax credit to other policies." The group was formed because there was a need for a voice for small- and medium- sized companies, the announcement said.