The Philippine state-owned company PNOC-Alternative Fuels Corp. (Manila) has signed a USD 1.3 billion contract with UK-based NRG Chemical Engineering to build a biodiesel refinery and two ethanol plants in the Philippines. NRG Chemical will own a 70% stake in the joint venture and will provide the bulk of the equity requirement in building a biodiesel refinery, two ethanol plants and a 1 million hectare jatropha bush plantation. The Philippine company will own the 30% balance of the project. The new refinery project, which is scheduled for commercial operation by the first quarter of 2008, will have an initial capacity of 350,000tpa, which will be increased to 3.5 million tpa. In its initial phase the refinery will use coconut and vegetable oil as feedstock until the planned jatropha USD 600 million plantation starts commercial production. The two ethanol plants will have a total investment of USD 149 million and will process jatropha and sweet sorghum to produce 300,000tpa of ethanol for the biodiesel refinery.