South-South Cooperation on New Biofuels Initiative in Senegal

17 November 2006

Brazil and India are supporting a new programme in Senegal to produce biofuels. Launched on 27 October, the programme aims to decrease Senegal’s dependence on imported oil and to spearhead the production of an alternative, environmentally-friendly energy.

While Senegal will supply the land and labour, Brazil will provide scientific and technical knowledge and Indian entrepreneurs will contribute the necessary capital.

"Senegal has considerable advantages to develop the biofuels sector, because the country presents good climatic and geological conditions necessary for the increase in plants used as raw materials for ethanol or diethyl ether production," José Neiva Santos, head of the Brazilian delegation, said.

The programme is set on 50,000 hectares of land, which will be used to grow different crops, including castor oil plants, sunflowers and jatropha in Kolda and Tambacounda. The different crops, the methods to produce biofuels and costs will be compared and evaluated.

The extracted oil will be transformed into biofuels in Khelcom, 100 km from Dakar. Biofuels, such as bioethanol, biodiesel and biogas, are renewable fuels produced mainly from agricultural crops or organic matter. Global production is on the increase, although pros and cons are hotly debated (see Bridges Trade BioRes, 6 October 2006, http://ictsd.iisd.org/biores/06-10-06/story2.htm).

"Brazil and India join Senegal for biofuel production," SCIENCE AND DEVELOPMENT NETWORK, 1 November 2006.

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