Cape Verde to centralize research into physic nut for biofuel production

22 June 2009

Lisbon, Portugal, 22 Jun – The International Centre for Scientific and Technological Research will focus experiments from other countries working with the physic nut, Geocapital investment fund announced Thursday in Lisbon.

At the presentation of the project, which took place at the Lisbon Congress Centre, a representative of Geocapital, a private company which is already developing projects in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and Macau, reminded the audience of the public-private partnership established between the company and Portuguese Scientific Tropical Research Institute and the Cape Verde Government.

He pointed out that a Germplasm Bank was being set up, which already has several dozen samples from all over the world of oilseeds from the plant whose scientific name is “jatropha curcas” and whose existing plantation in 2008 was 9000 hectares and in 2015 is predicted to be 13 million hectares.

Its oil, in the Fourteenth Century, was sent from Cape Verde to light up the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.

Paulo Jorge Lima, Cape Verde’s representative on the Business Council for Countries from the Portuguese-speaking Community and who participated in the meeting, said that the International Scientific Research Centre was of the utmost importance because it would concentrate all existing cooperation at this level with other countries that are developing biofuels.

In the project presented at the Lisbon Congress Centre, it was seen that the physic nut has several advantages over other plant species in that it needs little water and its seeds allow for biofuel production using the cheapest processes. (macauhub)