General Biodiesel brings four projects to China

By Li Huayu (
Updated: 2008-01-09 11:47

The US new-energy firm General Biodiesel plans to launch four projects in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Wenzhou of East China's Zhejiang Province, said company CEO Yale W. Wong in Beijing yesterday.

Currently on visit to China, Wong said that the planned initial investment for the four projects is about $500,000, and after a year the company will increase its total investment to $100 million.

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With an office in Beijing, the Seattle-based company specializes in producing high-quality biodiesel by processing vegetable oils - primarily palm, canola, soy, linseed, coconut, mustard and cotton - and by cleaning and recycling cooking oils.

As energy saving and environmental protection in China are increasingly pressing issues, the country has launched a slew of policies to encourage the development of new energies. For instance, the Chinese government has set the target of increasing biodiesel output to 200,000 tons by 2010 and two million tons by 2020.

Eyeing the huge potential, General Biodiesel is also seeking a joint-venture partnership in China. Wong said that the company has picked some potential partners, and is expected to ink a deal during this visit.

One of the potential partners is in the aviation sector, disclosed Wong, without revealing the company's name. He said his company is testing feasibility of using biodiesel products as jet engine lubricants or jet fuel.

Being a member of a clean-energy trade mission headed by US Assistant Secretary of Commerce David Bohigian and scheduled to visit China and then India, Wong said he would fly back to the United States after the China leg. "China is enough for us," he said.

Biodiesel is the natural equivalent to diesel. Diesel comes from petroleum, a nonrenewable resource, while biodiesel comes from organic, and all renewable, sources –such as soybean or rapeseed oils, animal fats, waste vegetable oils, or microalgae oils.

Wong said with the process from his company, biodiesel production will consume 99 percent of waste oils and no water at all. One of its by-products is glycerin, which can be made into fertilizers or distilled to 99 percent purity or higher and sold for cosmetic and pharmaceutical markets use.

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