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Russia gives green light to biofuel plant

Russia is to start production of an advanced biofuel called bio-butanol. It is a new-generation green fuel made of maize, wheat, sugar-beet, sugar-cane or barley.

It can be blended with existing fuels to make conventional petrol go further.

The country's first bio-butanol plant will be located in the Irkutsk region, using a special non-waste technology to produce fuel from renewable sources. It is scheduled to open later in 2008

The plant will expand into the Eastern-Siberia Biotechnology complex later this year.

The state-owned Russian United Industrial Corporation Oboronprom and the non-profit Fuel Energy Union will invest $US 20 million in the project.