Investing in biomass crop
Thursday, 29 September 2011 13:14
Miscanthus Giganteus, a large, warm-weather perennial grass, has been identified through thorough research as the most sustainable and highest yielding biomass crop on the planet
A unique new investment project in Gambia, West Africa, allows canny investors to get in on the ground floor of the growing global biofuel industry.
International private investment company Insight Group PLC recently launched its unique Bio E-Grass biofuel investment project aiming to plant 500 hectares of the leading biomass crop in Gambia, West Africa, a country identified by the company's independent Market Intelligence and Research Unit as the ideal region for large-scale production of Miscanthus Giganteus, both climatically and economically.
Insight Group PLC's identification of Miscanthus Giganteus as a unique and secure investment opportunity is backed by the opinions of Neal Gutterson, CEO of Mendel Biotechnology, a leading player in the cleantech and bioenergy fields.
Mendel's BioEnergy Seeds and Feedstocks business, in collaboration with BP, is currently developing elite, proprietary varieties of Miscanthus Giganteus which will increase the energy grass's viability and importance as the key component of a global sustainable energy revolution.
Gutterson says, "Miscanthus is a great product in field, but is hard to establish though spectacular once established. Establishing it through tissue culture or rhizomes is difficult so we need to change to a seeded system. We are now on track for seed product to be available in 2014."
It's predicted that the seeded product will drive adoption of Miscanthus Giganteus up to 250,000 acres in the US alone by 2016.
Ultimately, Gutterson predicts there will be a world trade in biomass developing, rather than nation-by-nation. "It will be an international, interdependent world trade in biomass."
Apart from higher yields as compared to other biomass crops, such as switchgrass and maize, Miscanthus Giganteus can be grown on barren ground unsuitable for food production, is a perennial crop and sequesters large amounts of carbon in its root system.
In Gambia, Insight Group PLC's Bio E-Grass plantations will be grown on barren land not currently in use for food crop production and will create steady employment for more than 200 local villagers. In addition, the project's experienced operator, Platinum Management, will plant 1000 hectares of rice plantations, with each harvest distributed to workers and local villages. The project has received backing from the Gambian government, which offers favourable conditions for foreign investment.
For a comprehensive outline of the unique Bio E-Grass investment opportunity, download the Bio E-Grass: Investing in your Future brochure at www.insightgroupplc.com/bioegrass