(SeeNews) - Oct 9, 2013 - US sustainable plant-oil firm SG Biofuels Inc (SGB) on Tuesday said it could obtain at least a USD-30.6-million (EUR 23m) loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to grow jathropa in Guatemala.
SG Biofuels, which is backed by aircraft manufacturer Airbus SAS, has sealed a mandate letter with the IDB for the financing, which will help it plant 25,000 acres (10,100 ha) of the energy crop on land areas that are not unsuitable for food production. The project will require total investment of about USD 76 million.
IDB will assess the project and consider its participation. Should it approve the financing, it will extend an A-loan of up to USD 30.6 million and additional financing through a B-loan or deals with other lenders, the amounts of which are not defined yet.
SG Biofuels’ plantations are expected to produce 6.2 million gallons (23.5 million litres) of plant oil and 640,000 tonnes of biomass each year. Jatropha curcas is a non-edible shrub that is native to Central America. Its seeds contain high amounts of oil that can be refined using existing technology to produce diesel fuel, jet fuel and speciality chemicals. It can be effectively grown on marginal lands that are considered undesirable for other crops. SG Biofuels will use improved jathropa hybrids that are native to the Guatemala region, it noted.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.737)