As a co-sponsor of the recent Fifth World Bio-Based Chemicals Conference
in Rotterdam, Nexant
led discussions with key bio-based chemical industry participants on
topics ranging from pending product launches to achieving
commercial-scale production and financing in the current global
The bio-based chemicals conference was held in conjunction with the
World Biofuels Markets Conference and the two co-located events
attracted over a thousand delegates and 70 exhibitors representing the
entire bio-based economic spectrum. Among the most hotly discussed
issues was the impact of regulatory uncertainty on European advanced
"One of the key aspects emerging from our industry dialogue was that
North America is now outpacing Europe in the field of bio-derived
chemicals, thanks in part to a more supportive regulatory environment,"
said Nexant Vice President Jonathan Bourne, who chaired the discussions.
"The EU needs to be more decisive in supporting new and emerging
technologies to increase self-sufficiency in energy and materials, which
in turn could lead to a more favorable rade balance with other regions."
Nexant Senior Vice President Richard Sleep agrees, believing that
regulation is currently driving the pace of new technology development.
"Increasingly the technology risk or end product quality is not the
overriding concern for lenders and investors," he said. "Rather, it is
the uncertainty of the regulatory environment and its impact on demand
and pricing-and therefore its impact on overall project economics-that
is dominating thinking throughout the industry."
According to Sleep: "This uncertainty is likely to continue, but we
believe that technologies continue to develop and projects are
overcoming regulatory hurdles to become financeable."
"Nexant has taken the initiative in completing due diligence work for
lenders and investors on many advanced technologies-such as pyrolysis,
Fischer-Tropsch, plasma-assisted technologies, and enzymatic
approaches-producing such products as hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO),
liquid fuels from waste biomass and algae, and many other oils,
alcohols, acids, and olefins," said Bourne. "A number of these
technologies were just emerging from the laboratory when we first
started in this industry."
As a leading advisor in the biofuels and bio-based economy, Nexant
provides independent assessments of technologies and markets,
feasibility studies, price forecasting, strategic planning, and
transaction advisory support.
Nexant specializes in a broad range of advisory services to the global
energy and chemicals sectors, including feasibility studies, mergers and
acquisitions, and strategic planning. Nexant offers a comprehensive
suite of best-in-class energy enterprise software designed to transform
utility business processes and implement smart grid and energy
conservation initiatives. Over the last decade, it has developed and
commercialized technology solutions-such as iEnergyTM, GRID360TM,
iHEDGE®, and RevenueManager®-enabling utilities, power producers, and
retailers to operate and deploy new technologies and applications in the
emerging grid. Operating from 32 offices in the U.S., Europe, the Middle
East, Asia, and Africa, the company's team of industry professionals has
completed more than 3,000 client assignments in over 100 countries, and
its software operates in over 120 control centers at utilities
worldwide. Its clients include major utilities, transmission and
distribution system operators, chemical and petroleum majors, financial
institutions, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.
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