SG Biofuels signs deals in Brazil to develop Jatropha as an alternative energy crop
29 January 2013
SGB, Inc. (SG Biofuels) has signed agreements in Brazil with Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation), the country’s leading agricultural research institution, and with Fiagril, one of the country’s leading biodiesel refiners, to advance the development of Jatropha as a next-generation energy crop.
SGB’s strategic research partnership with Embrapa will combine the company’s breeding and genomics platform, including the world’s largest and most diverse library of Jatropha genetic material, with Embrapa’s leadership in the advancement of new technologies that have increased agricultural productivity in Brazil. Embrapa has identified Jatropha as one of the most promising new energy crops in Brazil.
The agreement with Fiagril, the third largest company in the state of Mato Grosso with revenues in excess of US$1 billion per year, includes the establishment of a JMax Knowledge Center near Fiagril’s 200,000 metric ton-capacity biodiesel plant in Mato Grosso. The center is a professionally-managed trial where SGB is advancing elite Jatropha hybrids adapted to local growing conditions while establishing best agronomic practices to enable successful commercial deployment.
Since its establishment in 1973, Embrapa has generated almost nine thousand technologies, products and services for Brazilian agriculture, along with the institutions that form the National Agricultural Research System.
We have identified Jatropha as one of the most promising energy crops for the production of oil for biodiesel and bio jet fuel in Brazil. The first efforts to deploy the crop in Brazil were plagued by a lack of improved cultivars and insufficient technological expertise. We’re confident that through our partnership with SGB we can quickly overcome those challenges.—Manoel Souza, general director of Embrapa Agroenergy
In Brazil, SGB has deployed three JMax Knowledge Centers, including one in conjunction with a multi-stakeholder initiative including JETBIO, Airbus, the Inter-American Development Bank, Bioventures Brasil, Air BP and TAM Airlines.
SGB is working with its partners on a multi-phased program leading to the deployment of intercropped Jatropha plantations in the Central-west region of Brazil for the purpose of bio jet fuel production.
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