Abengoa reports strong quarter for biofuels, bioenergy

Source: By Anna Simet, Biomass Magazine • Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014

| August 20, 2014
  • Abengoa
 Abengoa’s biofuels and bioenergy business saw a strong second  quarter in the Americas, Abengoa CEO Manuel Sánchez Ortega said during the company’s first half of 2014 earnings call on Aug. 12.

Regarding the company’s biofuels segment, Ortega said that in the second quarter of the year, business demonstrated trends similar to those in Q1, including very good performance in the U.S., with average gross margins reaching 84 cents cents per gallon of ethanol, compared to 57 cents per gallon in first half of 2013, he said, reminding investors that the company is still waiting for the U.S. EPA to release final mandatory blend numbers for the renewable fuel standard.

Brazil also saw very good performance in the biofuels sector, Ortega said, but business was weak in Europe, which he attributed to low ethanol consumption and the lack of a definitive political support despite the ambitious target that Europe had set itself in terms of renewable energy development.

Regarding the company’s 25-MMgy cellulosic ethanol, 22-MW biomass power plant in Hugoton, Kansas, Ortega said startup continues, and that it is expected to begin producing ethanol in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Abengoa has begun production of its own enzymes, and Ortega said enzyme deliveries to the plant would begin later in the week of Aug. 11.

The presentation Ortega walked investors through also indicated Abengoa plans to reopen the company’s 25 MMgy ethanol plant in Colwich, Kansas, after 20 months of idling.

Growth prospects for the future include Mexico, which Ortega said “is a country of key focus for us at this moment, given our strong positioning and track record up to more than 40 years in the country. The new legislation is promoting new public/private partnerships, are locking a number of new opportunities in our areas of expertise.”

He added that waste to biofuels is another promising area for growth.

In addition to the positive financials during this past Q2, Ortega said the key landmark for the company has been, by far, the successful listing of Abengoa Yield in the NASDAQ.