A California-based biofuel maker has lined financing to grow jatropha to turn into biodiesel in Guatemala. This news release from SG Biofuels (SGB) says the company inked a deal with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the debt financing of a 25,000 acre Jatropha bioenergy project that is estimated to cost about $76 million.
“The IDB’s decision to accept the mandate letter is a significant milestone and confirms that the project’s vision and benefits are aligned with the bank’s funding priorities,” said Kirk Haney, president and chief executive officer of SGB. “We look forward to working with the IDB to assure that the project meets the bank’s rigorous financial, technical and environmental standards.”
The project utilizes SGB’s improved Jatropha hybrids – an energy crop that is native to the Guatemala region – grown on sub-prime land that is not desirable for food production.
“The development of locally produced renewable energy is an important goal for Guatemala,” said Edwin Rodas, Guatemala’s deputy minister of mines and energy. “The ministry of energy supports the efforts of SGB and its team of partners and investors to develop a project that will directly address our objectives related to energy security, while promoting rural development through the creation of jobs in areas of the country that needs it most.”
The project is expected to 6.2 million gallons of plant oil and 640,000 metric tons of biomass per year while creating more than 1,000 new jobs.