African biofuel plantations just right for G8 agenda, by David Blackwell

Friday, July 8, 2005

D1 Oils could help fight poverty and global warming

The G8 summit and and Live8 have put global warming, secure energy supplies and poverty in developing countries centre-stage this week. But there cannot be many listed companies hovering in the wings that are able to offer solutions to all three problems.

So it appears an appropriate time to turn the spotlight on the humble jatropha tree and D1 Oils, the Aim-listed company that is planning to plant millions of hectares of the trees in order to harvest the nuts and convert them into biodiesel.

It sounds almost too good to be true. Jatropha trees grow in land that is not suitable for food crops, including semi-desert and land reclaimed from mining sites. A large plantation acts like a giant solar panel, collecting energy from the sun and converting it into a usable fuel. The harvest is labour intensive, providing jobs for the rural poor.

D1 Oils, which also makes the fuel refineries, likes to think of itself as a renewable energy company. But its business plan shows it to be an old-fashioned plantation company pioneering a new type of crop.
Story found here.

Source: Financial Times