Mozambique has exported its first batch of biofuel produced from the jatropha plant for use by the German airliner Lufthansa, a company official told AFP on Friday.
Oil crushed from non-edible seeds from the drought resistant and fast growing plant are produced in the central province of Manica by British company Sun Biofuels which has sent 30 tons to Germany.
"The world market is demanding huge quantities of bio-fuel," the firm's director of corporate affairs Sergio Gouveia told AFP.
"Luftansa alone is seeking 400 million litres per year of bio-fuel across the world."
He did not reveal how much they had been paid for the shipment, but said biofuel prices vary between between $900 and $950 (661 euro) per ton.
Some experts remain sceptical about the viability of biofuel because of a lack of detailed scientific studies on the subject -- and critics object to the practice of growing inedible crops in a poor country.
Supporters of the scheme say Jatropha, a poisonous plant, can grow almost anywhere and yields high outputs of cleaner, renewable energy, without taking quality farmland away from food crops.
Last November Lufthansa announced that a test of regular local flights partly run on biofuel would start in 2011.
It said it aimed to to use biofuels for between five and 10 percent of all consumption by 2020.
(c) 2011 AFP
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