I wrote this some weeks ago but failed to post it because of my travels!
Two announcements – the closure of processing in the UK by D2 oil and the opening of a “micro biodiesel facility” that will use waste oil and jatropha oil by De-Ord Fuel indicate the over optimism around Jatropha and the uncertainty in the market.
(click image for full story online)
De-Ord’s micro plant, which will produce only 4.5 million litres a year will distribute biodiesel directly to bus and truck fleets. This, along with careful raw material sourcing will apparently allow it to be sustainable and possibly become a model for other European installations.
On the other hand D1 Oils has had to close and sell off plant as they are unable to compete with US imports using rapeseed as a feedstock. They will therefore be concentrating on their Jatropha operations, which have been part of their business approach since their establishment. The fact that inputs are required to optimise Jatropha production and that full scale production, which seemed to be pretty much in control 2 years ago,
is only due in 2011 are the realities compared to the hype that abounds in many projects.