During a visit to Green Fuels Berkeley, Gloucestershire, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales was told how biofuel projects can help people in developing countries and benefit the environment. The Prince, who is a leading advocate of sustainability and environmental stewardship, heard that a Green Fuels project in Brazil holds out hope for rescuing land affected by years of poor management and saving carbon emissions. “This is an ambitious project that includes reforestation of degraded pasture land and urban waste collection,” said Julian Beach, Business Development Director at Green Fuels. The project is the first stage in a scheme in the southeast region of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais that will eventually be a £200 million project with the reforestation of 300,000 acres and involving at least 46 municipalities.
Brazil is the 5th larger consumer of vegetable oil per capita globally with an average of 6.4Kg consumed per person per year, said Beach. Much of this oil ends up as waste, polluting waterways and clogging sewerage systems. The waste is often also re-sold as the new oil, resulting in negative health impacts on local communities. As part of the project, this waste oil will be collected and turned into fuel that can be used in transport or in electricity generation. The first stage of the project will deliver a million liters of biofuel annually. “This project will act as a catalyst to a larger waste to biodiesel project for the municipality and will be the first stage in the Zona da Mata Platform for Renewables and Biokerosene,” explained Manuel Thomson Flores, CEO of Green Fuels Brazil.
His Royal Highness also heard about Green Fuels projects in other parts of the world. A project in Indonesia is recycling waste oil from hotels and restaurants that might otherwise end up in the human food chain. Another project in Mexico is turning a non-food crop, jatropha, into carbon-neutral fuel for city buses. In total, Green Fuels has supplied biofuel equipment to more than 80 countries, with its plants capable of more than 400 million liters of biofuel production a year. According to the company, its equipment has already saved more than 5 million tonnes of carbon, and it expects even greater impact in the future.