R1.5 Million Bio-fuels Plant for SA

PRETORIA - South Africa's agro-processing got a boost this week with news of a R1.5 billion investment in a bio-fuels processing facility.
calendar icon 18 March 2008
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The plant, which is expected to produce bio-diesel and pharmaceutical glycerine from soya beans, will be largest soybean processing facility in Africa will use domestically produced raw materials and imports. The facility will process one million tons of soybeans annually and provide a long-term, consistent local demand that South African farmers.

The investment by Rainbow Nation Renewable Fuels Limited (RNRF), is expected to come on stream in the toward the end of 2009, says report on the Bua Newsline. It will be located in the Coega Industrial Development Zone in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality and provide a significant boost to the South African and Eastern Cape economies. The project is expected to generate R4.5 billion in turnover annually and create 350 new permanent jobs.

An additional 725 employment opportunities in related sectors and 800 jobs during the construction phase are also expected to be created.

Major Step

RNRF Managing Director Geoff Mordt said the plant marks the first major commitment to South Africa'S fledgeling bio-fuels industry.

"RNRF plans to deliver a renewable fuel that will reduce the harmful effects of greenhouse gases and toxic emissions produced by fossil fuels. The bio-diesel will be made from a feedstock produced by South African farmers - this is an important day for the creation of a local bio-fuels industry in this country," he added.

The operation also hopes to improve food availability for South Africans by increasing the local production of soybean meal. It embraces government's policy on food security and domestic soybean farmers, livestock industries and aquaculture producers stand to reap enormous rewards.

"We are currently working with farmers, agricultural cooperatives and emerging-farmer groups to increase the local supply of soybeans and are looking to expand our supplier base significantly," added Mr Mordt.

He said that growth of the local soybean industry would strengthen local agriculture and rural development. It also offered a key source of protein to the human food chain as well as providing a sustainable feedstock for premium quality bio-diesel.

View the Bua Newline story by clicking here.
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