Country Report Swaziland January 2008

The domestic economy: Biofuels attract investor interest

A Namibian-based company with Israeli connections, the Leviev Group, sent an investment mission to Swaziland in December to investigate opportunities in agriculture, mining and construction. In particular, the group is proposing an investment of E941m (US$130m) to develop biofuels in Swaziland. Of this, about E680m would be for the purchase of 50,000 ha for growing jatropha, an oilseed-producing crop, and E261m for the establishment of an oil-producing plant that would be capable of producing biodiesel within three years. The project aims to produce about 100,000 tonnes of biodiesel per year and to create 20,000 direct and indirect jobs. About 1,000 ha have already been planted with jatropha in Swaziland by a UK-based company, D1 Oils; the company has plans to expand the plantation to at least 30,000 ha and has partnered with BP to produce biofuel through a new company, D1 BP Fuel Crops (October 2006, The domestic economy: Agriculture).

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