The world's largest non-grain fuel ethanol enterprise was forced to stop production
Guangxi COFCO Bioenergy Co., Ltd., the largest cassava ethanol producer in the world, was forced to stop production on March 21 this year. On April 23, the work coordination team led by the Energy Bureau of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) went to Guangxi for investigation and field work to solve the industrial development dilemma. Star of biomass fuel industry in trouble
Guangxi COFCO Bioenergy Co., Ltd., the largest cassava ethanol producer in the world, was forced to stop production on March 21 this year. On April 23, the work coordination team led by the Energy Bureau of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) went to Guangxi for investigation and field work to solve the industrial development dilemma.
Star of biomass fuel industry in trouble
According to the national energy substitution strategy and unified deployment, and with the strong support of the National Development and Reform Commission, the project of Guangxi COFCO Bioenergy Co., Ltd. with an annual output of 200000 tons of cassava fuel ethanol with an investment of 757 million yuan was completed and put into operation in December 2007. As of March 15, 2011, a total of more than 480000 tons of cassava fuel ethanol were produced, and 4.4 million tons of ethanol gasoline for vehicles were sold, equivalent to replacing nearly 450000 tons of petrochemical gasoline resources. After three years of construction, Guangxi has built five high-yield cassava bases of 650000 mu, signed cassava purchase order contracts with more than 30000 farmers, and purchased retail investors, benefiting 45000 farmers and increasing farmers' income by more than 300 million yuan.
Since the end of last year, due to sales difficulties, the finished fuel ethanol products have been unable to be stored, and the Beihai Cassava Ethanol Plant has begun to significantly reduce the purchase of cassava. By March 21 this year, the enterprise was forced to stop production. Liu Shuhai, general manager of Guangxi COFCO Biomass Energy Co., Ltd., said that after the enterprise was forced to stop production, the daily economic loss was as high as millions of yuan, and the purchase contract signed with 45000 farmers was also difficult to be fulfilled. Every day outside the factory gate, potato farmers would come to "discuss" and request to resume the purchase. It is estimated that the income of potato farmers will be reduced by about 350 million yuan this year.
Why is such an enterprise that meets the requirements of the national energy development strategy and has significant economic and social benefits now in an awkward situation of having to stop production?
"Closed" sales become a piece of empty talk
The reporter learned from the Guangxi Development and Reform Commission that the government of Guangxi Autonomous Region has always taken a positive attitude towards the fuel ethanol project. As the first province in the country to use non-grain (cassava) as raw material to produce ethanol gasoline for vehicles, the Guangxi Autonomous Region issued the Interim Measures for the Administration of Ethanol Gasoline for Vehicles in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on December 23, 2007 (Order No. 34 of the Government of the Autonomous Region). The Measures stipulates that "since April 15, 2008, ethanol gasoline for vehicles will be closed for sale in the whole region, and other gasoline will not be sold in Guangxi".
However, after the implementation of the Measures, due to various reasons, the sales and use of motor ethanol gasoline and ordinary gasoline in the same region have always existed in the past three years, and the closed sales and use of motor ethanol gasoline in the whole region has not been fully realized.
According to the data of the Development and Reform Commission of Guangxi Autonomous Region, the coverage rate of ethanol gasoline for vehicles in the whole region once reached 85.79% in 2009, and 80.42% in 2010. However, from January to March 2011, the sales volume of gasoline in the region was 584000 tons, and the sales volume of ethanol gasoline for vehicles was only 234200 tons, down 45.04% from the same period last year, and the market coverage of ethanol gasoline for vehicles dropped to 40.1%. The sales volume of ordinary gasoline has largely occupied the market space of ethanol gasoline for vehicles, and continues to rise.
Guangxi gas station chaos
The reporter learned from the investigation of the working group of the National Development and Reform Commission's Energy Administration that there are 1317 gas stations affiliated to Sinopec and 990 private gas stations in Guangxi, a total of 2307. At present, only 35.8% of gas stations sell ethanol gasoline. The proportion of ethanol gasoline sold in social gas stations is even lower than 12%.
Yang Xunying, deputy director of the business division of Sinopec Sales Division, said that after the promulgation of the Interim Measures for the Administration of Ethanol Gasoline for Vehicles in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, 20 blending centers for ethanol gasoline for vehicles have been built in Guangxi Autonomous Region, and the blending center will mix fuel ethanol and general gasoline at a ratio of 1:10. According to the Measures, all gasoline sold by gas stations in Guangxi should come from these distribution centers. The retail price is subject to the price set by the National Development and Reform Commission, which is the same as that of ordinary gasoline, and the price of 93 # ethanol gasoline and ordinary gasoline is 7.57 yuan/liter. However, because Guangxi has not fully realized the "closed" sales of ethanol gasoline for vehicles, a considerable number of social gas stations are still selling ordinary gasoline, and the price is relatively low. At present, the retail price of No. 93 ordinary gasoline sold at Nanning Social Gas Station is 7.45 yuan/liter, 0.12 yuan/liter lower than that of ethanol gasoline at PetroChina and Sinopec gas stations.
Yang Xunying said that due to the price advantage of social gas stations, the market share of PetroChina and Sinopec gas stations has dropped sharply. Sinopec Guangxi Branch fell to 26th in the national performance ranking. In addition, the distribution cost of ethanol gasoline is higher than the original ordinary gasoline. In this form, some gas stations of Sinopec Guangxi Branch also began to resume selling ordinary gasoline. At present, only 54.5% of gas stations sell ethanol gasoline. Only 50.2% of the gas stations of PetroChina sell ethanol gasoline.
The reporter learned in the interview that social gas stations accounted for 43% of the share of Guangxi gas stations, of which only 12.12% sold ethanol gasoline. The reason why social gas stations have price advantages is that the sources of oil products are complex and diverse, and the quality is also uneven. A private gas station owner told the reporter that most of their oil came from neighboring Guangdong Province, including those produced by small refineries and those smuggled illegally. The wholesale price was much cheaper than that of Guangxi.
Private gas stations also reported that since the retail price of refined oil was adjusted on April 7, Sinopec and PetroChina have restricted the wholesale of refined oil to private gas stations. Private gas stations that can't wholesale refined oil have to go to local small refineries in Zhanjiang, Maoming and other places in Guangdong to wholesale refined oil. Due to the complex and diverse sources, the quality of refined oil is even more difficult to guarantee. In November 2010, the Quality Supervision Bureau of Guangxi Autonomous Region carried out the special action of product oil quality supervision and spot check. A total of 66 batches of ordinary gasoline sold by social gas stations were selected, and 51 batches were qualified, with a qualification rate of 77.27%.
The reporter also found that social gas stations selling ordinary gasoline still mislead consumers. Many gas stations have set up billboards with the eye-catching words "pure gasoline". The staff also preached to the customers who came to refuel that the use of ethanol gasoline not only consumes a lot of fuel, but also causes damage to the engine. Some people who sell gasoline additives and combustion aids also use the means of defaming ethanol gasoline to achieve the purpose of sales promotion.
Liu Shuhai, general manager of Guangxi COFCO Biomass Energy Co., Ltd., said that the price advantage of common gasoline in the social gas stations and the unscientific understanding and misunderstanding of consumers about ethanol gasoline made it increasingly difficult to promote and use ethanol gasoline in Guangxi, which directly led to a dilemma in the production of fuel ethanol.
The Energy Bureau of the National Development and Reform Commission worked on the spot to solve the dilemma of enterprises
On April 22, a work coordination team led by the Policy and Regulation Department of the Science and Technology Department of the Energy Administration of the National Development and Reform Commission and composed of several departments and experts in the field of biomass energy and automobile fuel all over the country went to Guangxi for research and on-site work.
After the survey, the working group of the National Development and Reform Commission held a meeting with relevant leaders of Guangxi Development and Reform Commission, COFCO Group, PetroChina and Sinopec. The meeting pointed out that the prominent problems found in the survey were mainly concentrated in the long transition period of the promotion of ethanol gasoline for vehicles in Guangxi, which led to a decline in the market coverage of ethanol gasoline; The long-term mixed use of inferior oil products, ordinary gasoline and ethanol gasoline has led to increased fuel consumption and reduced power of some consumers' vehicles, resulting in misunderstanding of ethanol gasoline among consumers; Fuel ethanol production enterprises face difficulties in development.
Li Ye, Director of the Science and Technology Department of the Energy Administration of the National Development and Reform Commission, pointed out in his speech that biofuels represent a trend of the world's energy development and are fully recognized in both academic and industrial circles. There is no doubt about the legal orientation and strategic significance of developing non-grain biofuels in China. Guangxi cassava ethanol production project is the largest non-grain ethanol project in China, and also has a demonstration effect in the world biofuel field. The core of the current problems in Guangxi is not the technical problems in the application of ethanol fuel for vehicles, but the inequality between ordinary fuel and ethanol fuel in the market competition. Guangxi has unique natural conditions, has formulated a development plan for cassava ethanol industry, and the state has also given policy support to subsidize the development of biofuels. There is no reason why not. Oil sales enterprises should stabilize production and supply to ensure the production and supply of ethanol gasoline. Guangxi Autonomous Region should further improve laws and regulations to create a good market legal environment for the comprehensive promotion of ethanol gasoline.
Developing non-grain bioethanol fuel is the only way
China proposes to increase the proportion of non-fossil energy in primary energy consumption to 11.4% and reduce the total emission of major pollutants by 8% to 10% during the 12th Five-Year Plan period. Today, when the large-scale development of nuclear power is faced with doubts about its safety nature, it is necessary to accelerate the development of biomass energy, including fuel ethanol. Up to now, there are ten provinces and regions in China that are implementing this method. The annual consumption of ethanol gasoline is 17 million tons, accounting for more than 20% of China's total gasoline consumption.
Many experts participating in the survey said that the fuel ethanol industry is the most feasible alternative to liquid fuel at present. By adding 10% fuel ethanol to ordinary gasoline, the ethanol gasoline formed has the advantages of high energy utilization efficiency and low exhaust emission pollution. Experts said that although the fuel ethanol industry had caused controversy due to its possible impact on food security, the raw materials for extracting fuel ethanol were gradually transiting from the earliest sugar-rich food crops such as corn and wheat to cellulosic-rich agricultural and forestry wastes such as corn straw, and the use of high-yield cassava as raw materials in Guangxi was the first in the world. Once the technology of converting cellulose into ethanol is mature, China's fuel ethanol industry will enter a fast track of development, and the problem of "competing for food with the people" will be completely solved.