The discovery of oil notwithstanding, Kenya is hoping to be a key diesel producer. The courts have allowed the development of a multi-billion-shilling project at the Coast aimed at tapping an alternative to conventional oil to proceed.
Two conservation groups that had objected to the plan have withdrawn their opposition. Bedford Biofuels – a privately – owned ﬁrm that has operations in Asia and Africa plans to go ahead with the project after acquiring 200,000 hectares from group ranches in Tana River County. This effectively opens the Way for Kenya’s ﬁrst biodiesel scheme, which, according to scientists, could also dramatically cut carbon emissions. Bedford Biofuels has a 45-year lease on the piece to plant jatropha (the “green” alternative to the conventional diesel). The plantation is also expected to make it possible for Bedford to earn carbon—credits.
According to the Environment Impact Assessment (ETA) conducted by the company, one tonne of biodiesel from jatropha can prevent three tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, due to the capture and storage of atmospheric carbon in the plant’s biomass, one hectare of mature jatropha can hold 40 tonnes of carbon dioxide for more than 40 years. The creation of jatropha plantations is, therefore, potentially eligible for consideration within the Clean Development