Photo credit: Jatropha Chile
Mexico, with its serious air pollution, slow progress towards minimizing the sulfur content in its diesel fuel, and burgeoning fleet of cars, is in dire need of some clean fuels. Mexican President Felipe Calderon recently announced a $85 million pilot project to produce biodiesel from non-food crops like jatropha and castor oil plant so as not to avert food crops from the mouths of its hungry populace, EcoAméricas reports. Cost is a major factor here: as the cost of convention diesel has increased to 60 cents a liter ($2.30 a gallon) in Mexico, jatropha is suddenly looking pretty good at 50 cents a liter ($1.90 a gallon).
The government will require the state-owned oil monopoly, Petróleos Mexicanos, known as Pemex, to buy biodiesel from small-scale producers to boost the market and streamline alternative fuels into its distribution system. American and Canadian investors are providing much of the capital for the initial production. Indiana-based Wolf Lake Terminals is building a biodiesel plant in the state of Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico. The state government will subsidize local farmers in planting 50,000 acres of jatropha on marginal land.
We also recently noted plans to grow jatropha in the Yucatan.
In the state of Chiapas, local farmers will plant 25,000 acres of jatropha this year, with a target of 300,000 acres by 2012. The oil will be channeled to an industrial-size plant in the town of Cintalapa with a daily capacity of 5,300 gallons. Both plants will sell to Pemex and if all goes well, the energy behemoth will start replacing more dirty diesel with biodiesel. :: Via EcoAméricas
More on Mexico and Jatropha:
Biodiesel in India: Jatropha Takes Center Stage
Patrón Ethanol? Cuervo Biofuels? Mexico Investigates Agave as Potential Biofuel Feedstock
Car Use Doubles in Mexico City in Last 7 Years
Mexican President Says No To Biofuels Law
Investment Group Plants Five Thousand Acres of Jatropha For Biofuel In Yucatan Mexico