Friday, July 11, 2014

Sapphire Energy takes "green crude" to China


“Sapphire Energy is very pleased to learn that our company’s and Sinopec's algae-derived renewable crude oil project has been selected for the U.S.-China EcoPartnerships program, announced today in Beijing, China, by the U.S. Secretary of State and the People’s Republic of China State Councilor. This collaboration between our two companies exemplifies the mutual goal of producing cleaner energy solutions for the U.S. and China. Together, we will demonstrate that crude oil from algae can be produced with favorable economics; that it can be integrated into existing fuels distribution networks; and that it will deliver substantial advantages for the reduction of CO2 emissions in both nations.

“Projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show that China, the world’s most populous country, will be the largest importer of oil in 2014. The need for renewable, sustainable and low carbon energy solutions to meet growing demand is vital. Given China’s leadership and strong support for embracing new, clean, sustainable fuel options, along with the country’s abundant availability of non-farmable land and non-potable water, Sapphire Energy’s proven algae-to-energy technology platform offers a promising solution.

**As to the EcoPartnerships:

the EcoPartnerships Program shows that “tackling climate change and leading the way to a clean energy future can be a ‘win, win, win’ – a win for America, a win for China, and a win for the world,” and we are pleased to welcome the following organizations to the program in 2014:

Sapphire Energy and Sinopec
Environmental Defense Fund and Shenzhen Low-Carbon Development Fund
General Electric Company and Harbin Electric
Port of Los Angeles and the Shanghai Municipal Transport Authority
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Shandong Province
City Partnership of Greater Philadelphia and Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area

**As to layoffs at Sapphire Energy, Bruce V. Bigelow wrote on July 10, 2014:

Asked to confirm the layoffs and to respond, a spokeswoman for Sapphire Energy wrote this morning:

“It is true that there has been realignment and changes at all levels of the company, and Sapphire has taken the opportunity to reduce its capital requirements while still developing the technologies they have been working to deploy.

“The reality is that since they started the company, market conditions have changed significantly, making it increasingly difficult for biofuel producers to compete with the incumbent oil companies.

“Specifically, the on-again off-again policies for renewable fuels in the U.S. have greatly affected the industry’s ability to compete on an open and fair basis with traditional fossil fuel producers. These threats to U.S. biofuels at the policy level coupled with the recent introduction of new crude oil supplies in the U.S. have led to an overall unease in the investment community around biofuels and the rapid decline in investment capital for the industry. So, the company acted as needed at this time."

James Butler is Vice President of Legal Affairs and Intellectual Property at Sapphire Energy.


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