We know the US Navy has been working hard to fast track the development of advanced biofuels – as part of its strategy shore up energy security, which it considers to be one of America’s “prominent military vulnerabilities” – and now the Royal Australian Navy is getting in on the game. US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus last week announced that the US Navy and had signed a technology cooperation agreement for advanced biofuels with its Australian counterpart, noting that the RAN participated in the Green Strike Force biofuels demonstration as part of the 22-nation RIMPAC naval exercises earlier this month, and refueled a RAN helicopter on board the USS Nimitz with advanced biofuels during the exercises. “The agreement,” said Mabus, “shows that energy independence and security is not just a concern of the US; it speaks volumes for the development of alternatives to the price and supply shocks that fossil fuels can be subject to.”
RAN’s Rear Admiral Tim Barrett, responsible for all navy surface ships, submarines and aircraft, last week told The Australian he would be happy to run his warships and aircraft on alternative fuels as long as they could perform as needed, and conceded that Australian forces would have to adapt quickly to use the same fuels as the US military so they can continue to work with the Americans on joint operations. Barrett said technological advances would flow from the navy and defence force to industry in Australia and the US, and vice versa. “That is a critical part. It may well be that the aviation industry allows us to share information on how they do it. Or they might benefit from the way we do things and the productive exchange of views we have with the US,” he said. “The US is doing it for all the same reasons that Qantas is doing it.”
Another funding round Ceramic
ASX-listed Ceramic Fuel Cells has announced a new round of fund-raising, the gas-to-heat fuel cell technology developer announcing today that it is launching a non-renounceable 1-for-4 offer to existing shareholders to subscribe for up to 229,870,625 new Ordinary Shares at six cents per share, with the goal of raising up to $A13.8 million. The company is also launching an overseas offer, which aims to raise up to £2 million at an issue price of four pence per share. Ceramic says the funds raised will be used as working capital to continue to fund its operations and to increase volume production of its fuel cell products – including its highly successful BlueGen units. It says it has increased its order book, with revenue for FY12 expected to be approximately $6.7 million, an 82 per cent increase on FY11 revenue. In total CFCL has received orders for 639 units, a 108 per cent increase from the order book as at 30 June 2011.