Business News of Thursday, 24 February 2011

Source: bloomberg.

India’s Firm Plans 25,000 Biofuel Jobs in Ghana - UNDP

Abellon CleanEnergy Ltd., an Indian renewable energy company, plans to create 25,000 jobs in Ghana and build a factory to produce solid biofuels, the United Nations Development Program said.

Ahmedabad-based Abellon will grow crops that require little irrigation such as bamboo, palmarosa and sweet sorghum on 10,000 hectares of derelict land, the UNDP said today in an e-mailed statement. About 21,000 farmers will be employed, with another 4,000 jobs created at a planned biofuels factory to convert the plants to fuels, and a power plant to burn it, the agency said.

Pragnesh Mishra, a local project manager in Ghana for Abellon, said the company expects to begin making solid biofuel this year, with the power plant being completed by 2015 in Ghana’s Ashanti region. The fuel will be exported until the plant is built, he said.

“We’re manufacturing solid biofuel for export to the U.S. and Europe,” Mishra said in a telephone interview today. “There’s a big market for that.” He declined to detail the cost of the project or the generating capacity of the plant.

The UNDP said the plant may power as many as 100,000 homes. Mishra said he hopes to secure financing for the project in the next few months. The UNDP has provided advice, though not money for the plan, he said.