NCT Jacam Energy Co will raise its biodiesel production to 600 litres per day at its refining factory in Kampong Speu province starting this week, said President Chheuy Sophors.
After the US$400,000 plant’s opening in October, the firm had produced just 100 litres of day due to a lack of jatropha, the plant from which the biodiesel is produced.
However, NCT has secured supplies of about 1,800 kilogrammes of jatropha per day from farmers in Kampong Speu, Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces, Chheuy Sophors said.
“We will keep increasing our production of biodiesel oil in the coming years if we are able to buy more jatropha,” he said, adding that the target was 5,000 litres per day within three years.
“Farmers will grow more jatropha then,” he predicted.
NCT is paying farmers between $0.15 to $0.20 per kilogram of jatropha, according to company data.
It sells the refined oil at $0.80 per litre, or about $0.05 lower than the crude alternative.
According to a report from the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, 10 companies are researching projects to produce biodiesel, with just three – including NCT – refining between 300 to 500 litres per day, an amount significantly below rising demand for the renewable fuel.
Sam Samy, secretary of state in charge of renewable energy at the ministry, said the government supported the development of biodiesel production – by companies that respected investment law in the Kingdom – given the fuel’s economic and environmental benefits.