29 June 2007
BP AND D1 OILS FORM JOINT VENTURE TO DEVELOP JATROPHA BIODIESEL FEEDSTOCK
BP and D1 Oils plc announced today that they are to form a 50/50 joint venture,
to be called D1-BP Fuel Crops Limited, to accelerate the planting of Jatropha
curcas - a drought resistant, inedible oilseed bearing tree which does not
compete with food crops for good agricultural land or adversely impact the
rainforest - in order to make more sustainable biodiesel feedstock available on
a larger scale.
'This joint venture is a further milestone in our strategy to develop real
avenues to contribute to global energy supplies in ways that are sustainable and
progressive,' says Iain Conn, chief executive officer of BP's refining and
marketing business. 'In the transportation sector, increased blending of
biocomponents offers one of the few real options for progress. Our announcement
earlier this week of a planned world scale bioethanol plant in Hull, alongside a
biobutanol demonstration plant, brings widespread availability of biocomponents
for gasoline closer to reality, and this joint venture will enable similar
progress on biodiesel.'
Under the terms of the agreement, BP and D1 Oils intend to invest around $160
million over the next five years. D1 Oils will contribute into the joint
venture their 172,000 hectares of existing plantations in India, Southern Africa
and South East Asia and the joint venture will have exclusive access to the
elite jatropha seedlings produced through D1 Oils' plant science programme.
'As jatropha can be grown on land of lesser agricultural value with lower
irrigation requirements than many plants, it is an excellent biodiesel
feedstock,' said Phil New, head of BP Biofuels. 'D1 Oils' progress in
identifying the most productive varieties of jatropha means that the joint
venture will have access to seeds which can substantially increase jatropha oil
production per hectare.'
The joint venture will focus on jatropha cultivation in South East Asia,
Southern Africa, Central and South America and India. It is anticipated that
some one million hectares will be planted over the next four years, with an
estimated 300,000 hectares per year thereafter. Investments will be made
through directly managed plantations on owned or leased land, which will also
provide employment for local communities, and through contract farming and seed
'This is a transforming event for D1. BP's decision to join us in this new
venture is a significant endorsement of our strategy to develop jatropha as a
global raw material for the
production of sustainable biodiesel,' says Elliott Mannis, chief executive
officer of D1 Oils. 'It shows we have come a long way. BP's proven logistical,
managerial and financial support will enable a significant enhancement and
acceleration of the scope and pace of jatropha planting.'
Jatropha oil produced from the plantations will be used to meet both local
biodiesel requirements and for export to markets such as Europe, where domestic
feedstock produced from rapeseed and waste oil is unlikely to be sufficient to
meet anticipated regulatory led demand for biodiesel of around 11 million tonnes
a year from 2010.
'Once all the planned plantations are established, the joint venture is expected
to become the world's largest commercial producer of jatropha feedstock,
producing up to 2 million tonnes of jatropha oil a year,' says BP's Phil New. '
As this hardy crop can be grown on a wide range of land types, it can make a
significant impact on employment in rural areas of developing countries where
planting takes place, a benefit which fits well with BP's aspiration to pursue
relationships which are mutually advantageous.'
Notes to Editors:
• Founded in 2002, UK based D1 Oils plc has been listed on the
Alternative Investment Market (AIM) since October 2004.
• D1 Oils plc is a UK-based global producer of biodiesel, building a
global supply chain and network that is sustainable and delivers value from '
earth-to-engine'. Its operations cover agronomy, refining and trading and
includes pioneering the science, planting and production of inedible vegetable
oils. D1 Oils also design, build, own, operate and market biodiesel refineries
and source, transport and trade seeds and seedlings, seedcake, crude vegetable
oils and biodiesel.
• BP, Associated British Foods and DuPont announced their intention to
invest around $400 million for the construction of a world scale bioethanol
plant alongside a high technology biobutanol demonstration plant to advance
development work on the next generation of biofuels on June 26, 2007.
BP Press Office, London, tel: +44 (0)20 7496 4358
D1 Oils, tel: +44 (0)1642 755580 or Brunswick, tel: +44 (0)20 7404 5959
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