Business Briefs

By Staff | May 06, 2013

CanBio appoints executive director
The Canadian Bioenergy Association’s (CanBio) board of directors has appointed Fernando Preto as executive director. Preto most recently served as lead scientist of biomass and renewables at Natural Resources Canada’s CanmetEnergy, an energy science and technology organization. In his position at CanmetEnergy, Preto was instrumental in advancing bioenergy developments in Canada and bringing together industry, government and academic stakeholders from the agriculture, forestry and energy sectors. He served as a taskforce member for the Forest Products Association of Canada’s biopathways initiative. Preto is a chemical engineer by training, and has the technical expertise, project experience and collaborative leadership skills needed to promote the Canadian bioenergy and bioeconomy sectors.

Sewall adds vice president
Consulting organization Sewall has hired Lee Freeman as vice president of global business development. Freeman has 35 years of experience in forestry and natural renewable resources. In his new position, Freeman will lead Sewall’s business development and consultative sales in biomass, carbon and other renewable energy markets, complementing the organization’s existing staff expertise in engineering, geospatial, forestry and natural resources consulting. Prior to joining Sewall, Freeman was employed by Thomson Reuters Lanworth, where he led business development in forestry, energy and carbon markets. He advanced Lanworth’s global business through partnerships and integrated geospatial solutions for real-time agro-forestry monitoring, inventory and analysis. Freeman has also held leadership roles in supply chain management, supervising the sourcing of forest products, biomass and recycled fiber for pulp and paper manufacturing firms.

Fredrikson & Bryron shareholder earns fellowship
Fredrikson & Byron PA shareholder Richard Weiner was named a fellow of Stanford University Law School’s Transatlantic Technology Law Forum. He will research and author a white paper on best practices for implementing a trans-Atlantic renewable energy policy that will include a comparison of the best U.S. and European renewable fuel practices. Weiner is an international biofuels lawyer at Fredrikson and Byron, where he chairs the firm’s international group and biofuels group. He assists clients with biofuel projects in the U.S. and overseas. Weiner’s term runs through 2014.

VG Energy adds chief science advisor
VG Life Sciences has announced Martin B. Dickman has joined its subsidiary VGEnergy as chief science advisor. In his new position, Dickman will enhance the scientific rigor of the company’s alternative energy core technology platform and expand the development of products that enhance the lipid and sugar production in emerging market sectors, such as algae biofuels. Dickman’s expertise in comparative plant physiology and plant pathologies is expected to add a new dimension to VGEnergy’s ongoing research. He has held positions at several universities, most recently as director of the Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology at Texas A&M University.

Associated British Ports signs contract with Drax
Associated British Ports signed a 15-year contract with Drax Power Ltd., an operating subsidiary of Drax Group plc. ABP will make investments of up to £100 million ($153 million) to handle wood pellet shipments at its Humber Ports of Immingham, Hull and Goole to support Drax Power’s conversion to a pellet-fueled power plant. The Drax Power Station at Selby is the U.K.’s largest single producer of electricity, meeting approximately 7 percent of the country’s energy needs. Drax plans to convert three existing coal-fired generating units to burn wood pellets.