Plant jatropha to save $2B from diesel importation - NEDA
By Rose B. Palacio
Davao City (15 December) -- The government expects to save $2-billion from diesel importation by planting jatropha, the seeds of which contain oil extract which can be used to power diesel engines.
NEDA director general Romulo Neri said "if we become self-sufficient in diesel, we can save 30 percent of the $6-billion to $7-billion worth of oil we import a year."
Neri said self-sufficiency in diesel production can be achieved if the country can plant jatropha seeds in two million hectares of land. The target for this, he said is within five to seven years.
The initial planting will be in Fort Magsaysay, a military camp in Laur, Nueva Ecija, where a total of 36,000 hectares will be planted with jatropha seeds.
For every hectare of jatropha plants harvested, three tons of oil may be used. This is almost equivalent to three tons of diesel or about 3,000 liters.
Estimated cost of processing oil extracted from the jatropha seeds is about $17 per liter, NEDA said. (PIA XI) [top]