Work began on the construction of a factory making biodiesel from jatropha seeds in Pleiku city, the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, on May 19.

The plant, the first of its kind in the region, will be built at a cost of 500 billion VND (23.8 million USD) and turn out 30,000 tonnes of biodiesel per year when operational.

In the first phase, which will be constructed in eight months, the factory will produce 8,000 tonnes of biofuel annually.

To ensure material supply for the plant, the investor - Minh Hoang Joint Stock Company has contracted with local people to grow jatropha trees on nearly 1,300 hectares in Gia Lai and the regional provinces of Dak Lak and Dak Nong. The area will be expanded to 10,000 hectares in 2015.

Jatropha trees, called “ba dau” or “dau lai” in Vietnamese, grow naturally in barren land in the Central Highlands region.-VNA