SOURCE: Mission NewEnergy

December 16, 2010 11:12 ET

Mission NewEnergy and JOil to Collaborate in Growing New Elite High Yielding Jatropha Varieties

SUBIACO, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - December 16, 2010) -  Mission NewEnergy Limited (ASX: MBT), a vertically integrated biodiesel producer and one of the world's largest Jatropha plantation companies, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with JOil (S) Pte Ltd ("JOil"), a joint venture company of Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory ("TLL") of Singapore and a world leader in research and development of high-yielding Jatropha varieties.

Mission & JOil are keen to enter into a strategic joint arrangement to pursue the growing of Jatropha plants and trees from elite Jatropha seedlings. Under the proposed arrangement, JOil will provide elite Jatropha plant seedlings and plant materials for Mission's next planting seasons in India commencing from 2011. JOil and Mission will also jointly explore new Jatropha plantation projects in Malaysia and Indonesia where JOil will provide elite Jatropha planting materials and funding for the proposed plantations.

"The cultivation of higher yielding varieties through genetic improvements is an important step in the continued evolution of Jatropha as a commercially attractive source of biofuels," said Nathan Mahalingam, Group CEO of Mission NewEnergy. "We are delighted to be collaborating with an organization with such impressive historic results and credentials."

The Parties have also further agreed to jointly evaluate any potential M&A and investment opportunities that are of mutual interest and explore in-licensing of any varieties developed by Mission's own research and development program or mass production of Mission's higher-yielding varieties using JOIL's proprietary tissue culture technology, a world first for Jatropha.

JOil is a joint venture company whose major shareholders TLL, TATA Chemicals and Toyota Tsusho, have made with significant investments to commercialise the R&D of TLL on Jatropha curcas.

JOil has been conducting a comprehensive breeding program to generate hybrid plants based on biodiversity present in natural germplasms. Other desirable traits from genetically compatible species are also being introduced into Jatropha curcas through introgression breeding. JOil's breeding priorities are higher productivity, synchronized maturation for ease of harvest and desirable self branching patterns.

"Mission has a demonstrated ability to successfully plant, nurture and bring to harvest Jatropha. We are pleased to be able to deploy our high yielding varieties with such a large and well organized commercialization partner," said Peter Chia, Chief Operating Officer of TLL and a Director on JOil Board.

JOil's trial results, have demonstrated a material increase in yield per acre and significant shortening of gestation time.

About JOil:
JOil, headquartered in Singapore, is a joint venture of Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, Tata Chemicals, Toyota Tsusho and a few other companies. Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory ("TLL") was established in 2002 by Temasek Holdings Limited, the US$150 billion investment arm of the Singapore government.

TLL is a non-profit research organisation in the field of molecular biology and genetics.

JOil is developing a continuous pipeline of Jatropha hybrids with better performance, better adaptability to local climates and better tolerance to various stresses. JOil owns a proprietary tissue culture technology for Jatropha propagation. JOil also has an on-going research collaboration with TLL for genetic modification of Jatropha.

About Mission NewEnergy Limited:

Mission NewEnergy (ASX: MBT) is a vertically integrated biodiesel firm based in Australia, with operations in India and Malaysia. It owns and operates a 100,000 tpa (approximately 30 million gallons per annum) biodiesel plant in Malaysia, and a 250,000 tpa (approximately 75 million gpa) biodiesel plant adjacent to the 100,000 tpa plant.

Mission NewEnergy Limited is a company:

  • listed on the ASX with its operations in Malaysia and India;

  • that owns and operates a 100,000 tpa (approx. 30 million gallons p.a.) biodiesel plant at Kuantan in Malaysia producing biodiesel that exceeds international specifications (EN14214 & ASTM 6751-D);

  • that is the only non-German biodiesel producer to be certified by AGQM, the German Biodiesel production process certification body;

  • that is currently finalising handover of a 250,000 tpa (approx. 75 million gallons p.a.) biodiesel plant with KNM Process Systems SdnBhd as a turnkey contractor using Axens' 2nd generation, heterogeneous catalyst, trans-esterification technology and adjacent to the 100,000 tpa plant;

  • that will initially use Crude Palm Oil (CPO) as the feedstock for its biodiesel plants in Malaysia;

  • that is rapidly developing its upstream feedstock business in India, which is focusing on a drought-resistant perennial plant (Jatropha curcas) that grows in marginal/poor soil. Jatropha is easy to establish, grows quickly, produces seeds for over 40 years and importantly is inedible;

  • that will ultimately replace CPO with Jatropha Oil as its feedstock for its biodiesel plants;

  • that owns and operates two wind energy turbines of 1.65 MW each in India which sell electricity to a Western Indian utility under a 13 year power purchase agreement.

For more information and a copy of this announcement, please visit: www.missionnewenergy.com or contact:

Contact Information

  • Company:

    James Garton
    Head Corporate Finance, M&A
    Mission NewEnergy Limited
    + 61 8 9443 9512
    Email Contact