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October 22, 2009

Ghanaian biofuel company produces first 50 barrels of biodiesel from jatropha

by Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

A biodiesel company operating in Ghana has announced the first commercial production of biodiesel from Jatropha in the country.

An official of Biofuel Africa, Ove Martin Kolnes said that the company has produced 10 tons of biodiesel, about 50 barrels, from its plantations in Ghana. He said the production was realized from 650 hectares of the plant. “This was produced from one-year-old Jatropha seeds from our plantations in Yendi in the Northern Region and Sogakope in the Volta Region,” he said.

According to Kolnes, the vegetable oil produced from jatropha can be used without any modifications to directly run vehicles and machines in Ghana because of the climate. “I am already using it in my car”, he excitedly said.

Earlier the company had issued a press release in which it said it has started the commercial production of jatropha oil, “the first company in West Africa to move from growing and selling jatropha fruits and seeds to production and sale of Jatropha oil on a commercial scale for direct use, without modification, and as a feedstock for biodiesel and synthetic diesel.”

“This is a major milestone for the biofuel industry in West Africa,” said BioFuel Africa CEO and Director Steinar Kolnes. “The industry has taken some time to mature here, but now we are beginning to see the fruits of our collective labor and everyone – local farmers and communities, the government and biofuel producers – will benefit.”

BioFuel Africa Ltd. which is a Ghanaian company wholly owned by Norway-based Solar Harvest AS, was the first company in Ghana to receive Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval for a jatropha plantation.

Ghana Business News

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