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June 08, 2009

Company to acquire 15,000 hectares in Ethiopia for jatropha biodiesel production

Ardent Energy Group announced on May 29 an agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MOARD) of Ethiopia to transfer 15,000 hectares, approximately 37,000 acres, to AEG for the purpose of cultivating jatropha and castor. The resultant crop will be refined into usable biodiesel fuel.

The 15,000 hectares outlined in the memorandum of understanding (MOU) is in the Metekel Zone, Gublak District within Benshangul Gumuz in western Ethiopia. The MOU establishes a 50-year lease on the land for AEG, and includes permission to operate an oil crushing plant and biodiesel processing facility.

Jatropha and castor were selected as the first source of oil by AEG due to the resiliency of the plant, its ability to grow in marginal soil conditions and the extremely high-yield of oil to hectare as compared to other crops such as soybean.

Biofuels Digest

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