Biofuel company seeks £20 million float on AIM

D1 Oils plc announced its intetntion to raise £20 million through listing its shares on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in order to become a leading global producer and supplier of biofuels.

The company is expected to be valued at between £50 million and £100 million when it lists in mid-October.

Since its formation in 2002, D1 has completed research enabling it to identify a preferred energy crop as well as establishing international management and operations in key markets in order to fulfil its global aspirations.

D1 Oils uses the Jatropha tree – a durable, non-edible tree that can produce oil bearing seeds over a 30 year life span – rather than the EU’s favoured rapeseed. D1 Chairman Karl Watkin has criticised the use of rapeseed as inefficient in the production of biofuels (see related article) as it tires the soil if grown continuously and does not produce enough energy per hectare to meet demand.

Current forecasts suggest that by 2010 European biodiesel production will satisfy less than half the projected demand which is growing at 14.5% per year.

The company has secured plantation rights to approximately 37,000 hectares of land in Africa, India and South East Asia for the cultivation and production of jatropha oil, and has a further 6 million hectares under option. In addition it has invested in refining technology and is in the final stages of development of small scale modular refineries designed to convert crude vegetable oil into biodiesel.

Commenting on the announcement, Karl Watkin said: “Climate change, security of energy supplies and job creation for the world’s rural poor are major issues facing the world today. D1 Oils has developed a well thought through approach to help address these problems whilst executing its business strategy.”

“Developing D1 from concept to an international business in three short years is the result of total commitment by our experienced team. The fundraising will allow D1 to build on that commitment, develop its contracts, technology and IPR further and deliver what I hope will become the recognised brand in the biodiesel industry world wide,” he added.

By David Hopkins

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