NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

Rice bran oil plant visited by Finnish delegation

Photo: Ileana Holt
Photo: Ileana Holt
Photo: Ileana Holt

On 28 March, a delegation from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland paid a visit to the rice bran oil plant set up by the IDEAS 2013 winner, Latin Oil S.A.

The delegation consisted of the Deputy Director General of the Department for the Americas and Asia, Eija Rotinen; the Director of the Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ari Mäki; Counselor Tiina Nikkinen; the Ambassador of Finland in Mexico and also accredited to Nicaragua, Roy Eriksson; the First Secretary at the Finnish embassy in Mexico, Matti Keppo, and Virpi Heinonen from Tampere University of Applied Sciences.

The project Rice Bran Oil for Biofuel was one of the winning projects in The Energy Innovation Contest (IDEAS) contest in 2013, which was co-financed by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF).

Rice bran oil is produced from rice bran, which is extracted from the hard outer brown layer of rice after removing the rice husk. Despite its extensive availability in Nicaragua, rice bran is mainly used for animal fodder or simply discarded. Rice bran oil is widely used in Asia for cooking and other purposes, but its benefits are little known in Central America.

In addition to the USD 100,000 IDEAS grant, Latin Oil S.A. was able to source additional funding from private investors. These funds have been invested in setting up the brand new processing plant in Tipitapa, a small city just outside Managua, the capital of Nicaragua.

The plant produces 25 tonnes of rice oil daily and has now built a considerable stock (rice bran oil, semolina and wax) to be sold. The project has created 40 permanent jobs ranging from middle management, to operators and manual labour.

IDEAS is an initiative to support the development of innovative projects that promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, biofuels and energy access in rural areas. IDEAS is managed by the Inter-American Development Bank and invites organisations in Latin America and the Caribbean to submit their project proposals related to renewable energy and energy efficiency. IDEAS 2013 was co-financed by the NDF.

More information:
IDEAS – Energy Innovation Contest [NDF C58]