Posted by: mel | June 19, 2009

Taiwan eyes RI jatropha

The Jakarta Post ,  Jakarta   |  Wed, 06/17/2009 1:21 PM  |  Business

 

All smiles: (From left) Timothy Yang, representative of the Taipei Economic and Trade Office in Jakarta, Agum Gumelar, chairman of the Taiwan Commission in the Indonesian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) and Wenent Pan, chairman of the Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association chat before a meeting in Jakarta. JP/R. Berto Wedhatama

All smiles: (From left) Timothy Yang, representative of the Taipei Economic and Trade Office in Jakarta, Agum Gumelar, chairman of the Taiwan Commission in the Indonesian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) and Wenent Pan, chairman of the Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association chat before a meeting in Jakarta. JP/R. Berto Wedhatama

Taiwan, the eighth largest investor in RI, with a strong presence in the manufacturing sector, is exploring the possibility of investing in bioenergy to help meet its huge demand for biofuel.

“Taiwan is interested to invest in jatropha plantations in Indonesia to meet the needs of biodiesel refineries in Taiwan,” said Wenent Pan, the chairman of Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association at Tuesday.

Jatropha is a plant that grows in tropical and subtropical areas. The oil extracted from jatropha seeds can be used for making biodiesel.

Shih-Ming Wang, a researcher on biodiesel powered electricity generation for the Chung Yuan Christian University, said that Indonesia was an ideal location for jatropha plantations, since it can grow well on marginal land as well as on fertile land.

Indonesia has relatively plentiful available land and compatible climate condition for jatropha he said. “Indonesia can also provide plenty of workers needed for the plantation production,” Shih-Ming Wang added.

Jatropha cultivation is very labor intensive, which explains why the Indonesian government supports development of jatropha as an energy crop to supply the feedstock for biodiesel as part of its rural development strategy. It also does not compete with the food chain or other uses, as with CPO.

Another reason for investing in jatropha in Indonesia is the relatively low local cost of producing and purchasing jatropha seeds.

According to Marthias Dawi, the chairman of the National Bioenergy Cooperative, the price of jatropha seeds locally was about Rp 1,000 per a kilogram. He said the cooperative is willing to help Taiwanese businesses acquire jatropha seeds from farmers for a modest service fee.

“The cooperative would only charge five percent *margin on* the sales value of the jatropha seeds,” he said.

Pratomo Waluyo, director for bilateral and multilateral cooperation division of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) said an investment in jatropha would be a new project for Taiwan investors.

So far, Taiwan has invested in paper, manufacturing and the textile industry. Between 1990 and the end of last February, the total realized cumulative investment of Taiwan in Indonesia reached US$3.89 billion. Last year the value of total bilateral trade (in both directions) reached a total of $10.8 billion.

Taiwan has long been developing green energy projects due to its lack of energy resources. About 99 percent of its energy needs are met from imports, forcing Taiwan to explore the use of renewable energy resources. In 2007, only about 0.4 percent of its energy consumption was supplied from green energy.

The Taiwan government has just approved investment of NT$45 billion on renewable energy research and industries for the next five years.

The Taiwan Government recently made a commitment to raise the share of renewable energy in terms of installed power generation capacity to 10 percent by 2010, and at least 12 percent by 2020. (mrs)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: