all images: D1 Oils
Though The Guardian is calling it a biodiesel breakthrough, the announcement by D1 Oils that they are (finally) on track to deliver their first commercial quantity, 1000 tonnes, of raw jatropha oil by December of this year seems to be more a sigh of relief than anything else. The firm has lost £13.1 million ($23 million) in the first half of the year, and could see losses as high as £20 million ($35.4 million) by the end of the year. In praising their progress, D1 CEO Elliot Mannis had this to say,D1 Uniquely Positioned in Biofuels Market: Mannis
D1’s position as a leading developer in jatropha plant science differentiates us significantly in a market that increasingly requires biofuels that are not only competitive but also sustainable.
Which is all fine and good (as well as being correct in that people are increasingly seeing a fuller picture of the impacts of biofuels on the environment and on people, and are seeing sustaianability criteria as more important than ever), but D1 is hardly out of the woods yet.
Citing Excessive US Subsidies, D1 Closes Two Refineries
Originally D1 envisioned itself as a one-stop biodiesel shop, opening two refining facilities in the north of England and entering into a partneship with BP to develop commercial quantities of jatropha—including so-called ‘elite’ strains which would have consistently high yields even on marginal lands. However, citing price pressures from US subsidized biodiesel undermining its ability to supply a competitive product, D1 has shuttered both facilities and cut 90 jobs.
D1’s work on jatropha cultivation continues, with some 260,000 hectares (640,000 acres) planted in Zambia and India. It hopes to bring a further 40,000 hectares under cultivation by the end of 2008.
If anyone is interested in buying some innovative modular biodiesel refining units (four D120 units and one D130 are available), D1 would be happy to sell you one and arrange for international shipment...
via :: The Guardian
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