January 04, 2008

Kingdom has potential to develop alternative fuel

This is an interesting story about the push to develop biofuels in Jordan.

Jordan has the potential to grow alternative biodiesel fuels that would ease its energy crunch, environmental experts say.

The Kingdom's terrain constitutes perfect soil to plant Jatropha and Pongamia Pinnata seeds, which contain up to 40 per cent oil, National Environment and Wildlife Society (NEWS) officials told the Jordan News Agency,Petra.

But the interesting part to me is what it says about the cultivation of Jatropha in Saudi Arabia.

Harvesting Jatropha curcas is catching on in the region, according the NEWS president. By 2010, several countries will be producing Jatropha biodiesel, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has already planted 50,000 dunums of Jatropha en route to its targeted one million dunums, he pointed out.

Just for reference according to wikipedia, a dunum is 10 acres.

Of course I don't want to read too much into this but when I see a country with as much oil reserves as Saudi Arabia has getting into biofuels production I have to wonder if there is something more going on than meets the eye.

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