Cape Verde: Government and Geocapital set up biofuel Research Centre

18 May 2009

Praia, Cape Verde, 18 May – Cape Verde will this year have an International Centre for Scientific Research and Development of Technologies focused on biofuels under the terms of an agreement signed Friday in Praia by the Cape Verdean government and by company Geocapital – Investimentos Estratégicos.

Creation of the centre follows the project of the National Institute for Agricultural Research and Development (INIDA) and the setting up of public/private partnership to strengthen research of oil-producing plants for biofuel production.

In Cape Verde the plant most used for biofuel production is jatropha, which grows wild across the archipelago and which can be sown anywhere outside of the 10% of arable land (just 45,000 hectares).

With this partnership INIDA also approved a return to research of non-food crops, with special focus on oil-producing plants for biofuels, which began in the 1980s, and makes it possible to make use of areas sidelined by agricultural production in arid and semi-arid areas.

Created in 2003 in Macau to boost the economic and commercial context of the for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the Portuguese Speaking Countries (PALOP) via the Chinese Special Administrative Region of Macau, Geocapital has a “string and relevant” presence in those state and is carrying out an investment in the financial sector in East Timor.

Also in the biofuels sector Geocapital believes that planting jatropha in Guinea Bissau and Mozambique is likely to begin at the end of 2009 or beginning of 2010, which would make it possible to produce biofuel within two to three years. (macauhub)