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Sun Biofuels Mozambique has exported its first batch of 30 tons of jatropha oil, raised in the central Mozambique’s Manica province, to Europe for evaluation by the German airline Lufthansa.
Sun Biofuels Mozambique is a subsidiary of the British -based Sun Biofuels.
Sun Biofuels Mozambique manager for corporate affairs Sergio Gouveia stated that Lufthansa placed the jatropha oil export order in order to evaluate the suitability of the biofuel for powering its planes, commenting, "Civil aviation is an interesting market, that's why we are looking forward to the Lufthansa test results, which has shown a keen interest in our production," Maputo’s Agencia Informacao Mocambique reported.
The oil produced in Manica was grown, pressed and filtered in Gondola, in Sofala. Given Mozambique's lack of refining capacity, the jatropha oil will have to be refined upon arrival in Germany into a civilian aircraft Jet A-1 fuel.
Sun Biofuels Mozambique already employs over 1,000 workers and its jatropha plantings cover 3,000 hectares. According to Gouveia, one hundred kilos of jatropha seeds have the potential to produce on average 35 liters of oil. Parent company Sun Biofuels has already invested about $9 million both on studies of the suitability of jatropha as a feedstock for producing biofuel and the project itself. Up to now the company has yet to make a profit.
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com