May 17, 2020

Alternative fuel plant may produce 100,000 gallons per year

Admin
2 min
Demonstration plant at Hillsborough facility
Primus Green Energy Inc., an alternative fuel company headquartered in Hillsborough, N.J., recently announced the commissioning of its up to 100,000 ga...

Primus Green Energy Inc., an alternative fuel company headquartered in Hillsborough, N.J., recently announced the commissioning of its up to 100,000 gallon-per-year natural gas-to-gasoline pre-commercial demonstration plant at its Hillsborough facility.

“As one of the first plants in the nation to make gasoline directly from natural gas, the completion of our facility is of monumental significance for Primus, for the nation and for the world,” said Robert Johnsen, CEO of Primus Green Energy. “Our syngas-to-gasoline plus (STG+) process is much more cost effective and efficient than competing alternative fuel technologies, enabling us to build commercial plants at a fraction of the cost of traditional gas-to-liquids (GTL) and alternative fuel plants.”

The demonstration plant utilizes Primus’ proprietary STG+ technology, which is a four-reactor catalytic process that converts syngas derived from natural gas or other feedstocks to gasoline, jet fuel, diesel or aromatic chemicals directly, without the need for further treatment. The process produces drop-in fuels that are ready for immediate distribution, sale and consumption using the existing fuel distribution infrastructure.

The commissioning of the demonstration plant is a milestone, as STG+ offers the broader alternative fuels and GTL industries a unique opportunity. The company’s technology advances the use of low-cost, abundant natural gas in the production of transportation fuels while decreasing the United States' dependence on crude oil.

Primus’ demonstration plant marks the final step before construction of its first commercial plant. To date, the company’s primary investor has been IC Green Energy, the renewable energy arm of Israel Corp. Gilad.

“There is a major global need for alternative fuels derived from non-petroleum sources, which will contribute to energy independence and energy security for both the United States and Israel and Primus is uniquely poised to take advantage of attractive economics and a first-of-its-kind technology to make alternative fuels a commercial reality,” said Dr. Yom-Tov Samia, president and chairman of Primus Green Energy and president of IC Green Energy.

Headquartered in Hillsborough, N.J., Primus Green Energy has developed an innovative alternative fuel technology that produces drop-in transportation fuels such as high-octane gasoline, diesel fuel or jet fuel directly from syngas derived from natural gas and/or other feedstocks.

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Jul 26, 2021

Ofwat allows retailers to raise prices from April

Ofwat
Utilities
water
prices
Dominic Ellis
3 min
Ofwat confirms levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue

Retailers can recover a portion of excess bad debt by temporarily increasing prices from April 2022, according to an Ofwat statement.

The regulator confirmed its view that levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue, thereby allowing "a temporary increase" in the maximum prices. Adjustments to price caps will apply for a minimum of two years to reduce the step changes in price that customers might experience.

Measures introduced since March 2020 to contain the spread of Covid-19 could lead to retailers facing higher levels of customer bad debt. Retailers’ abilities to respond to this are expected to be constrained by Ofwat strengthening protections for non-household customers during Covid-19 and the presence of price caps.  

In April last year, Ofwat committed to provide additional regulatory protection if bad debt costs across the market exceeded 2% of non-household revenue. 

Georgina Mills, Business Retail Market Director at Ofwat said: “These decisions aim to protect the interests of non-household customers in the short and longer term, including from the risk of systemic Retailer failure as the business retail market continues to feel the impacts of COVID-19. By implementing market-wide adjustments to price caps, we aim to minimise any additional costs for customers in the shorter term by promoting efficiency and supporting competition.”  

There are also three areas where Ofwat has not reached definitive conclusions and is seeking further evidence and views from stakeholders:   

  1. Pooling excess bad debt costs – Ofwat proposes that the recovery of excess bad debt costs is pooled across all non-household customers, via a uniform uplift to price caps. 
  2. Keeping open the option of not pursuing a true up – For example if outturn bad debt costs are not materially higher than the 2% threshold. 
  3. Undertaking the true up – If a 'true up' is required, Ofwat has set out how it expects this to work in practice. 

Further consultation on the proposed adjustments to REC price caps can be expected by December.

Anita Dougall, CEO and Founding Partner at Sagacity, said Ofwat’s decision comes hot on the heels of Ofgem’s price cap rise in April.

"While it’s great that regulators are helping the industry deal with bad debt in the wake of the pandemic, raising prices only treats the symptoms. Instead, water companies should head upstream, using customer data to identify and rectify the causes of bad debt, stop it at source and help prevent it from occurring in the first place," she said.

"While recouping costs is a must, water companies shouldn’t just rely on the regulator. Data can help companies segment customers, identify and assist customers that are struggling financially, avoiding penalising the entire customer in tackling the cause of the issue."

United Utilities picks up pipeline award

A race-against-time plumbing job to connect four huge water pipes into the large Haweswater Aqueduct in Cumbria saw United Utilities awarded Utility Project of the Year by Pipeline Industries Guild.

The Hallbank project, near Kendal, was completed within a tight eight-day deadline, in a storm and during the second COVID lockdown last November – and with three hours to spare. Principal construction manager John Dawson said the project helped boost the resilience of water supplies across the North West.

“I think what made us stand out was the scale, the use of future technology and the fact that we were really just one team, working collaboratively for a common goal," he said.

Camus Energy secures $16m funding

Camus Energy, which provides advanced grid management technology, has secured $16 million in a Series A round, led by Park West Asset Management and joined by Congruent VenturesWave Capital and other investors, including an investor-owned utility. Camus will leverage the operating capital to expand its grid management software platform to meet growing demand from utilities across North America.

As local utilities look to save money and increase their use of clean energy by tapping into low-cost and low-carbon local resources, Camus' grid management platform provides connectivity between the utility's operations team, its grid-connected equipment and customer devices.

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