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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 Bio-diesel plant to be set up using nuts instead of palm oil

22/3/07 ( Junalo, Germany)  -  A joint venture using nuts as a greener alternative to palm oil as a transport fuel is setting up two plants in Singapore, participants said in published report Thursday.Van Der Horst Bio-Diesel (VDH) and the Institute of Environmental Science and Engineering are focusing on the Jatropha curcas nut.

The shrub can thrive in semiarid soil and "does not compete with good agricultural land," The Straits Times quoted Peter Cheng, chief executive of Singapore-based VDH, as saying.

This gives the product a major advantage over palm oil, he said.

Two plants at a cost of 40 million US dollars each will be built. The first will be completed by December 2008 and produce up to 200,000 metric tonnes of fuel, Cheng said.

The bio-fuel will initially be sold to oil companies in China, Cambodia and Singapore.

Buyers from Europe are also expressing an interest, he said.

The European Union announced earlier this month a goal for bio- diesel to make up 10 per cent of transport fuel within the trading bloc, compared to less than 3 per cent of current consumption.

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