First jatropha-based plant in Brazil to open this fall

By Anduin Kirkbride McElroy | October 16, 2007
Austria-based BioDiesel Technologies GmbH (BDT) announced it has delivered its first biodiesel processing unit to Brazil. The biodiesel equipment manufacturer and project developer has 17 projects operating in 10 countries worldwide.

The receiving plant, Compahnhia Productora de Biodiesel de Tocantins, is the first commercial-scale biodiesel plant in Brazil that will use jatropha as a feedstock, according to BDT. It is also BDT's first commercial-scale project to use jatropha oil. The plant has feedstock agreements in place with local cooperatives and small farmers in the state of Tocantins who have planted 48,000 hectares (118,611 acres) of jatropha. The plant can also use animal fat from the state's 6 million head of cattle.

In a press release, BDT said it would deliver one processing unit in September and four additional units by the end of the year. Ultimately, the plant will have the capacity to produce 40,000 metric tons per year (11 MMgy). Additionally, Compahnhia Productora de Biodiesel de Tocantins is researching the feasibility of two additional sites within the region, which would add 80,000 metric tons (22 MMgy) of annual production capacity.

In an attempt to promote agricultural production that is both environmentally and socially sustainable, the government has implemented tax incentives for biodiesel producers that source their feedstocks from local communities. Because the plant's feedstock agreements align with this model, Compahnhia Productora de Biodiesel de Tocantins expects to take advantage of these incentives.
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