The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) has announced that the biodiesel research being conducted by the energy company in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Bodles Agricultural Research Station and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) is now in the vehicular trials phase.
PCJ’s Group General Manager, Winston Watson made the announcement, “Through our research, we found that the castor plant is feasible for the development of biodiesel and we have developed a B5 blend, which is now being used in vehicular trials,” said Watson.
“While we cannot divulge too much information about the results at this point in time, we are refining the formula based on feedback from the trials, which have been ongoing since December 2016. We are optimistic that once this phase of the research is completed our B5 blend of biofuels will be an affordable option for driving energy efficiency in the transportation sector,” he added.
The University of Technology, Jamaica will be moving forward with research on biofuels and other projects under a partnership agreement, which the PCJ signed with the tertiary institution earlier this year to promote research and development in renewable energy.
Through the incorporation of the PCJ’s B5 blend, it is anticipated that about 97,000 barrels of imported oil will be displaced, amounting to savings of approximately J$540 million annually on Jamaica’s energy bills.
The project is also expected to give the local agricultural sector a boost, as a new market of crops will be in demand for farmers to supply. Other companies have also been investigating the potential of cooking oils for bioenergy, including Hero BX undertaking an in-depth feasibility study into its potential on Jamaica.