India’s second largest petroleum company, Bharat Renewable Energy (BREL), has partnered with SG Biofuels (SGB) to develop sell jatropha hybrids modified for the production of biodiesel in India. The first phase of the program will focus on crop development aimed at creating oil-rich jatropha hybrids suited to growing conditions throughout India. The next phase will consist of deploying more than 86,000 acres of jatropha using SGB’s JMax hybrid seeds.
“With the genetic diversity of their Jatropha hybrid material combined with ability to produce large volumes of hybrid seed, SG Biofuels is an ideal partner to work with to successfully develop, validate and scale Jatropha as the primary source for biodiesel in India,” said Mr. M.V. Radhakrishnan, chief executive officer of BREL.
Through molecular breeding and biotechnology, SGB is optimizing jatropha hybrid varieties at its JMax crop development centers. The centers feature hybrid material from SGB’s germplasm library totally more than 12,000 genotypes. The company will work with BREL to select, test and scale up the hybrids most suited to various growing regions across India. The ultimate goal is to grow jatropha suited for biodiesel production to help meet the country’s National Policy on Biofuels targets of blending 20% of fuels with ethanol and biodiesel.
“We look forward to working with BREL to develop a thriving Jatropha industry capable of meeting the country’s significant demand for biodiesel,” added Kirk Haney, president and chief executive officer of SGB. “Our partnership is a great example how collaborations across the entire value chain – from crop science and agronomics to downstream refining and logistics – are the key to the successful scaling of Jatropha.”