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Canadian company Energem Resources has acquired a 70% controlling interest in a jatropha based biodiesel venture in Mozambique. The equity deal is in return for a commitment from Energem to fund the further development of the project for an amount of up to US$5.5 million.
This amount is expected to be required over the next year to fully plant an initial 1000 hectares, clear and commence planting on a further 5000 hectares, acquire additional land of up to 60,000 hectares (presently under application from the Mozambiquan Government), and produce a first crop of unrefined jatropha seed oil to confirm expected yields and oil quality.
The venture has also established jatropha seedling nursery facilities, and has commenced the clearing and planting of 1000 hectares of land in Mozambique. Core to the project is three years of research and development into the use of jatropha in Mozambique as a crop to produce oil for transesterification and further refining to biodiesel.
This acquisition, says Energem, is consistent with it's recently announced, redefined strategic focus, primarily on the mid-stream oil and gas infrastructure and biofuels sectors. As part of this process, the company has established a new operating division, Energem Biofuels, with the Kisumu Ethanol Plant in Kenya at its core.
The company believes that these core sectors have enormous potential and scalability across the African continent, and that Energem is well placed to be a major player in their development.
News date: 02/08/2007