BioDiesel Technologies establishes first commercial jatropha oil biodiesel project in Brazil


Source: BioDiesel Technologies GmbH

Brazil’s first commercial jatropha biodiesel project goes into operation this month following the delivery of BioDiesel Technologies’ (BDT) processing unit. BDT will deliver a further four processing units to increase the plant capacity to 40,000t/y by the end of the year. The President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, will officially open the plant in September.

Project operator, Companhia Produtora de Biodiesel do Tocantins, has formed agreements with local cooperatives and small farmers in the state of Tocantins to supply the biodiesel facility with the required feedstock. This has led to the establishment of 48,000 hectares of jatropha plantation, which will give an important boost to the local agricultural community. Jatropha, a non-edible high yielding oilseed crop, will provide a cheap and stable feedstock supply for the plant.

The multi-feedstock technology provided by BDT will also allow the use of animal tallow for the manufacture of biodiesel. This could prove to be a significant source of income to the large slaughter-house industry within the Tocantins state, which has over 6 million head of cattle.

This operation, bringing local agricultural communities into the biofuel production process, will form the model upon which future Biodiesel operations in Brazil will be constructed, hence President Lula will show his support for the project in September. Brazil has introduced mandatory blends of 2% by 2008 and 5% by 2013 as well as numerous tax incentives for biodiesel producers that source their feedstock from local communities.

Companhia Produtora de Biodiesel do Tocantins is examining project sites for a further two projects within the region, taking total regional production to over 120,000 tons of biodiesel per year.

BDT is a biodiesel equipment manufacturer and project developer based in Austria. The company, founded in 2003, has 17 multi-feedstock projects operating in 10 countries worldwide. BDT, which has built its success on its standardized modular processing units, is now looking to expand on its accomplishments by pursuing partnership deals with companies in South America and Asia. BDT aims to establish commercial production operations with regional partners for the construction of its biodiesel processing equipment outside of Europe.

Managing Director of BioDiesel Technologies Claus-Jürgen von Lattorff said:

“This project marks an important milestone for BDT. It is our first entrance into the South American market and our first commercial scale project fed by jatropha oil,” said Mr Lattorff. “It is important to show versatility and innovation in a market that is developing so quickly. We believe that the success of this project will provide us with the perfect model on which to build many more fruitful partnerships in the future.”

Managing Director of Companhia Produtora de Biodiesel do Tocantins Eduardo Bundyra said:

“Right now is the most exciting time for us to enter into Biodiesel production,” said Mr. Bundyra. “With the use of BDT’s modular technology and cheap and secure jatropha feedstock supply, we already find ourselves several months ahead of the competition who are struggling to make pure energy crop bioenergy projects into a reality.”

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