Sirona Fuels launches jatropha production in Haiti

By | April 15, 2009
Web news posted April 28, 2009, at 11:57 a.m. CDT

Sirona Fuels announced it has begun jatropha planting operations in Haiti over the past month in a joint venture with 3C Missions, an organization that has established a relief fund for over 1,100 orphaned children in Haiti. Sirona intends to harvest and crush the jatropha in Haiti, and refine it into a high-quality B100 biodiesel in the United States. Sirona's nursery operations include planting multiple strains of seeds and seedlings that will be intercropped with moringa trees. Moringa leaves are high in protein and nutrients and can be simply processed into a micronutrient powder to fight malnutrition.

"Planting our first jatropha in Haiti is an important milestone for us and for our Haitian partners," said Paul Lacourciere, Sirona's CEO. "This represents a critical step in changing the lives of the farmers in Haiti while creating the opportunity for us to deliver high-quality biodiesel that aids in lowering American's carbon emissions. Additionally, Sirona has also partnered with Haitian farmers that have dedicated land to planting jatropha, but have not been able to get their product to market."

In an effort to spark economy in the region, Sirona will not take ownership of the Haitian jatropha farms, but rather form a partnership by providing the equipment, seeds, seedlings and technical advice necessary to grow commercially viable jatropha. The Sirona Cares foundation is also ramping up its activities in the communities in which the Sirona Fuels community farms are located. Among other activities it is distributing medical supplies and mosquito nets to assist communities that are trying to rebuild after last year's devastating hurricanes.

By working with sustainable and affordable feedstocks like used cooking oil and jatropha, Sirona's business model is designed to stabilize fuel prices for its customers, provide sustainable revenue to its suppliers and make significant volumes of high-quality biodiesel available to the market. Sirona has identified commercial sources for jatropha in several countries and is developing businesses that will promote the establishment of jatropha farms in Haiti, India and other developing countries.

Source: Sirona Fuels, Business Wire
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