SG Biofuels Inc., backed by Airbus SAS, will cooperate with Fiagril Participacoes SA and Brazilian Agricultural Research Corp. to seek to reduce costs and boost yields in producing biofuel from the inedible jatropha plant.
Embrapa, as Brazilian Agricultural Research is known, will offer expertise on boosting crop productivity and cutting output costs, San Diego-based SG said today in an e-mailed statement. SG is studying how to extract the greatest amount of oil from the Central American jatropha, which can be grown on poor land.
SG and Fiagril will set-up a research facility near the Brazilian company’s biodiesel plant in western Mato Grosso and a trial as part of plans to adapt jatropha to local conditions.
“Working in partnership with Fiagril, we look forward to deploying our elite jatropha hybrids,” SG’s Chief Executive Officer Kirk Haney said in the statement. The plant’s seeds are crushed to make oil for biodiesel, jet fuel and chemicals.
SG is already working with Bharat Petroleum Corp. to grow 86,000 acres of jatropha in India, and planting 75,000 acres in Brazil with Airbus, the Inter-American Development Bank and TAM SA, Brazil’s largest airline. The company said last month that it was in talks with large energy companies including state oil producers in Africa and Southeast Asia to expand in new markets.
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