S Korean investor to develop plantation for biodiesel in Maluku

AMBON (Antara): South Korea's LML firm will develop Jatropha Curcas, sp. plantations in Oma village, Haruku subdistrict, Central Maluku district, a spokesperson said.

The company intended to develop the plantations as a pilot project to produce biodiesel for a power plant, LML chairman Choi Seung In said Monday.

The decision to choose Oma village as the location for the plantations was based on the results of a field survey conducted last year, he said.

The survey shows that Oma village soil is suitable for Jatropha curcas plantations, In said adding that Oma villagers are very friendly and modest.

The South Korean company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) mid last year with Oma village leaders on the opening of the plantations.

Under the MoU, Oma villagers will implement seedling, transplantation, and maintenance programs as well as distillation program to produce the biodiesel.

Meanwhile, LML firm's local partner Jack de Fretes said the South Korean investor will team up with a local bank, PT Bank Maluku, to embark on the project.

He said the Korean firm will thus send seven Oma villagers to Bogor town in West Java to take part in a training program on Jatropha curcas development and management.

Oma village traditional King J Pattinama said he will provide the Korean investor with 1,070 hectares of land -- allocated by 522 families -- for the Jatropha Curcas plantations. (***)
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