International events address biodiesel development

By Erin Voegele | June 28, 2011

Events planned in Thailand and India aim to provide interested parties with knowledge and information related to each country's respective biodiesel industry. Bangkok, Thailand is hosting the Clean Power Asia conference June 28-30, while the Center for Jatropha Promotion & Biodiesel (CJP) will hold the 4th Global Jatropha Hi-tech Integrated Nonfood Biodiesel Farming & Technology Training Programme in Jaipur, India Sept. 14-18.

“Thailand is committed to the low-carbon pathway,” said Twarath Sutabutr, deputy director of the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency within Thailand’s Ministry of Energy. Sutabutr is leading the list of speakers for this week’s event.

The Clean Power Asia conference focuses on several elements of Thailand’s energy future, including renewable energy sources and cleaner fossil fuel-based power. The event aims to give Thailand the opportunity to showcase its green track record while highlighting the investment opportunities offered by its renewable energy industry. According to information released by the event’s organizers, approximately 300 delegates present at the conference will hear from energy experts representing more than 14 countries, including Thailand, Singapore, Korea, China, the Philippines, India, Australia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan and Iran.

Regarding the potential for biodiesel investment, Clean Power Asia’s team notes that the government of Thailand has established a goal to produce and use 4.25 million liters (1.12 million gallons) of biodiesel per day. This equates to a usage goal of approximately B7 in 2011.  

One of the goals of Thailand’s Energy Policy and Development Plan is to promote the use of biodiesel and other alternative transportation fuels. To help achieve that goal, the country has aimed to educate members of the public about alternative transportation fuels in order to build consumer confidence. The government has also been promoting the use of palm oil production within Thailand, with the goal of having 400,000 hectares (nearly 990,000 acres) of the feedstock in cultivation by 2012.

While the Clean Power Asia event focuses on investment opportunities, a training program in India will focus on the development of jatropha and other non-food  feedstocks for biodiesel production, including algae, castor, pongamia, moringa, simarouba, and jojoba. The 5-day event will address both feedstock development issues and oil extraction and process technology developments.

Nearly 10 sessions at the training event will focus exclusively on jatropha. According to CJP, these sessions will address genetics, agronomics and horticulture practices. “[The speakers] shall also discuss the need for universally-accepted industry standards for the development of this crop as well as the efforts to develop such activities in developing jatropha varieties with improved oil yield per hectare to achieve [a] three-fold goal of addressing energy, economics and execution with clear focus on critical issues facing [jatropha’s] role as a viable feedstock,” said the CJP in a statement. 


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