Why crude jatropha oil is more than just a biodiesel feedstock
The CJO shipment to Europe falls in line with a milestone the company achieved in June when it crushed and shipped 188 metric tons of crude CJO to its operating 100,000 metric ton (30 MMgy) biodiesel facility in Kuantan Port, Malaysia. The company is in the process of commissioning a 250,000 metric-ton-per-year plant adjacent to the Kuantan Port facility. Though it used traditional pressing methods to crush its 1,500 metric tons of seed, MNE plans to introduce solvent extraction methods to increase oil yields.
Even though both plants now use crude palm oil as feedstock, the latest shipment of CJO to the European power provider, according to Garton, doesn't dismiss the company's goals for using CJO as a feedstock for its production plants. "That's not to say that we intend to move away from using CJO [for] our biodiesel production," he says. "The European shipment is a milestone equally measurable to our first crush, or our first jatropha planting."
Since 2007, MNE has planted jatropha seeds on its 180,000 acres of land in India. Based on median estimates, MNE's jatropha operations are expected to yield approximately 1,300 pounds of CJO per acre, which represents more than 20 million barrels of supply over 30 years. With those figures, Garton says, there is more than enough demand for sustainable crude oils such as CJO for use in energy generation in Europe that currently exceeds MNE's expected supply. He adds, "We expect to generate a 300 percent increase compared to what we had this year."