Montana's Camelina Crop to Serve as Feedstock for Biodiesel Venture
--- Targeted Growth Inc., a renewable energy bioscience company, has partnered with biodiesel company Green Earth Fuels to form a joint venture to produce and market up to 100 million gallons of Camelina-based biodiesel by 2010.The joint venture is called Sustainable Oils Inc. Nearly all of the initial Camelina production is expected to be grown in Montana. "This is an exciting opportunity for Montana --- it represents a combining of two major thrusts of economic growth outside the boot," said Governor Brian Schweitzer. "It is energy related and it is value-added agriculture. Having this sort of major commitment is great news."Camelina, a distant relative to Canola, can grow on marginal land, requires minimal water or fertilizer, and can be harvested with traditional equipment.Targeted Growth, headquartered in Seattle, has spent years applying its suite of yield and trait technologies to Camelina. Green Earth Fuels opened one of the country's largest biodiesel production facilities this month in Houston."We have created a better feedstock for biodiesel," said Tom Todaro, CEO of Targeted Growth. "Camelina can be rotated with current Montana crops, it grows in land with lower agricultural value, and it doesn't significantly increase the use of fertilizer or irrigation water. We think this will be a model for the development and use of other biofuel-specific crops."Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Green Earth Fuels is a leading producer and distributor of biodiesel. Green Earth Fuels operates production and distribution sites that areindependently located within existing petrochemical infrastructures in key U.S. coastal locations."This deal allows us access to a high-quality feedstock at an extraordinarily competitive price," said Green Earth Fuels CEO Greg Bafalis. "There's an advantage to being vertically integrated --– it closely aligns our interests with those of our feedstock suppliers. And because Camelina exists outside of thetraditional commodity market, it should not be as volatile as other feedstocks."