Not quite the end for Jatropha? : a case study of the financial viability of biodiesel production from Jatropha in Tanzania

S.T. Bryant, H.A. Romijn

Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic

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Abstract

The purpose of the case study is to assess the financial viability of biodiesel production from Jatropha under real-life conditions, in contrast to the more generalised studies currently available. This assessment is modelled from the data of a Jatropha oil producer with a social entrepreneurial business model currently operating in Tanzania and looking to expand into biodiesel production from Jatropha oil. Results from a quantitative cost analysis show that the total cost of biodiesel production is significantly higher than Tanzanian and typical East-African market prices for diesel when including all company costs and taxes; however, when the by-products of the total production process are utilised as additional sources of revenue, biodiesel production becomes financially viable. While these findings are worlds removed from the recently hyped expectations surrounding jatropha as an energy crop, they also do not lend support to the current discrediting of jatropha bio-energy by many who have lost all belief in the crop after projects failed to deliver on the overly positive initial expectations. Jatropha biodiesel production in Sub Saharan Africa can be financially viable as well as socially benign, but only under certain operational conditions that require hard work and considerable time and patience to create.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEindhoven
PublisherTechnische Universiteit Eindhoven
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameECIS working paper series
Volume201308

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