Philippines to invest $26 million in biofuel plantations

The state-run Philippine National Oil Company has allocated US$26 million to grow jatropha intended for biofuels, AFP reported.

The 30,000 hectares of jatropha nurseries will produce their first harvest next year, company chairman Renato Velsasco said.

The jatropha programme will help address the Philippines’ dependence on imported oil, the country’s energy secretary said, adding that
there are plans to establish biofuel plantations on idle land all over the country.

Jatropha seeds can be processed to produce an oil that can be used for the production of biodiesel fuel, but many environmentalists fear expanding biofuel production means forests will be felled, releasing greenhouse gases and damaging biodiversity.

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