BP announced today that it is to fund a $9.4 million project by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh to demonstrate the feasibility of producing biodiesel from Jatropha Curcas, a non-edible oil bearing crop.
The project, which is expected to take 10 years, will cultivate around 8,000 hectares of land currently designated as wasteland with Jatropha and install all the equipment necessary – seed crushing, oil extraction and processing – to produce 9 million litres of biodiesel per annum.
A full Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of all elements of the supply chain and life cycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions will be completed as part of the project. TERI will be responsible for the day -to-day management and execution of the project.
“In some parts of the world there is only limited availability of land to produce food crops and therefore no surplus which can be used for energy crops. Because Jatropha is drought resistant and can grow on marginal land, it offers the possibility of an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable contribution to energy security challenges in India,” explained Phil New, senior vice president of BP’s fuels management group.