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South Africa: De Beers Fuel gets commercial biodiesel licence

The South African Revenue Service has licenced De Beers Fuel's first commercial biodiesel production plant, making the company the first licensed commercial biodiesel producer in South Africa.
The pilot production plant in Naboomspruit, Limpopo, has the capacity to produce 3,6-million litres of diesel a month, using sunflower-seed oil.

De Beers Fuels said in a statement, on Friday, that several plant franchises had already been sold, adding that a sulphur-free, biodegradeable fuel would be available to bulk users of diesel, such as fleet owners, transport companies and mines across the country. The diesel produced by these plants would be at least 80 c cheaper than diesel currently available, the company claimed.

Biodiesel Refinery Holdings had the sole mandate to market, sell and franchise plants on behalf of De Beers Fuel throughout Africa, Argentina and Brazil.

Meanwhile, the biofuels industry will also mark another milestone, with the launch of South Africa's first ethanol plant in the Free State. Ethanol Africa will officially open its first plant in Africa in Bothaville.

Ethanol Africa aims to build a total of eight bioethanol-manufacturing plants in the maize-producing areas of South Africa. Each plant will have a production capacity of about 155-million litres of fuel-grade bioethanol a year and, at full capacity, Ethanol Africa will produce about 1,2-billion litres of bioethanol a year, using three-million tons of maize.

Government supports biofuels initiatives and aims for biofuels to account for 40% of the country's renewable energy, supporting the 2013 target of 10 000 GWh from renewable energy.

Additional information:
News date: 21/07/2006

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