Biodiesel plant using jatropha oil feedstock opens in Cuba

By Ron Kotrba | July 16, 2012

Agence France-Presse reported July 16 that a new biodiesel plant in Cuba using jatropha oil feedstock has begun production. The small biodiesel plant located in Guantanamo province is scaled to produce 100 tons (about 30,000 gallons) per year.

The small biodiesel refinery was built with Cuban state funds, according to AFP, along with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Jose Sotolongo, director of the province's Center for Applied Technology for Sustainable Development, said about 130 acres of jatropha were planted at Guantanamo to supply the biodiesel plant, adding that the first few liters of fuel have already been used to power area agricultural equipment.

AFP stated that jatropha “has traditionally been used on the island to fight intestinal parasites and to lower fevers, but only in small doses because it can be toxic.”

“The communist nation, which currently imports half of its fuel from close ally Venezuela, has said it aims to generate a sixth of its electricity from renewable sources before the end of the decade,” reported AFP.


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