September 3, 2007 (Antara)- Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) – Jatropha curcas linn trees raised in East Nusatenggara have a big potential causing an Israeli investor Merhavv Group to decide to invest US$700 million in the province, an Indonesian entrepreneur said. “East Nusatenggara is suitable for the raising of jatropha curcas linn so that Merhavv Group is ready to make a big-scale investment in biofuel producing plantations,” Indonesian private firm PT Mahattan director Sudiro Andiwiguna said here Sunday.
Merhavv Group is prepared for a project to develop jatropha curcas into biofuel in Sulamu in Kupang district, he said after visiting the area.
Sudiro and Merhavv Group director Gideon Weinstein and two other Israeli businessmen, namely Jacgues Eshel and Yosef Ziv visited the jatropha curcas linn plantation in Sulamu on Friday.
The Merhavv Group representatives met with Kupang district head Ibrahim A. Medah also on Friday to discuss the plan.
The Kupang district administration has developed a biofuel plantation on 50,000 ha of land in Sulamu since 2006.
Sudiro said the investment of $700 million would also be used to manage 100,000 ha of jatropha curcas linn plantation in East Sumba district.
PT Manhattan Capital has told the agriculture minister and the energy and mineral resources minister about the program, he said adding that it will also work together with state agro firm PT Rajawali Nusantara Indonesia (RNI) to develop the jatropha curcas linn plant into biofuel in East Nusatenggara.
Meanwhile, Merhavv Group director Gideon Weinstein said his part certainly needed a large port for smooth investment.
In the meeting with Kupang district head Ibrahim A. Medah, Weinstein said his company needed a port which would be built on five hectares of land.
Ibrahim said the Kupang district administration would hold a meeting with the relevant agencies building the port in Sulamu area.