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Indonesia rushes biofuels projects

Indonesia plans to produce more than 15,000 tons of biofuels from jatropha by the end of 2007. The plan is part of the country’s drive to encourage alternative sources of energy so as to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuel Initially, the government was planning to build eight big biofuel plants, but later we decided to build much smaller plants with a capacity of 300 tons per year each,” said Effendi Sirait, the industry ministry’s official in charge of biofuel development. Construction will start early next year, so hopefully they could start producing by the end of the year. It will cost up to 67 billion rupiah (US$ 7 million).” While the government focuses on jatropha as a feedstock, the bulk of Indonesia’s biofuel production will come from palm oil-based biodiesel. Some Indonesian plantation companies have announced plans to build biodiesel plants with a combined annual capacity of around 450,000 tons. (November 7, 2006)