Kenaf Factory to Provide Jobs in Rural Spain


There is good news this week for sustainable farming in southern Spain. The British eco-technology company SPDG has been awarded a substantial grant from the Spanish government of 1.97 million euros to develop a kenaf production factory. It will be ‘capable of processing 10,000 tonnes of locally-grown kenaf into fully recyclable materials that can replace glass-reinforced plastics and fibre-glass in the construction, motor and electronics industries.‘ We’ve grown pretty fond of the Jute related Kenaf plant here on TreeHugger. As an annual plant, with a higher cellulose content than wood, kenaf is a versatile crop that can be used to make paper, rope, cloth and its seeds produce oil. Its fibrous quality also makes it useful as a bio-composite as we’ve seen in Toyota’s use of Kenaf for their car interiors and NEC’s mobile phone casing. SPDG’s aim is to create a full kenaf production loop, 'from the growing of the natural fibre crop, through processing the fibre, to producing the non-woven materials, to providing technical expertise in the utilisation of these materials in advanced one step moulding processes.' In a rural areas like Albecete, Spain, this project will give a huge boost to the local economy. SPDG's chief executive officer Michael Cunningham explained that, apart from the environmental benefits, this is a major reason why the Spanish government are supporting this project. "We came up with the concept in response to the collapse of rural economies world-wide, which is a problem any government has to address. Countries like Spain or France are terrified of that happening." Thanks to Alex for the tip. Via: Edie News ::SPDG