SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire -07/26/11)- AltAir Fuels and the USDA today announced the establishment of Biomass Crop Assistance Program ("BCAP") areas in Washington state, Montana and California for the production of the oilseed crop camelina sativa as a feedstock for sustainable, low carbon aviation fuel, renewable diesel and specialty chemicals. Camelina grows in rotation with wheat, does not displace food crops and requires minimal water and fertilizer. AltAir's camelina-based renewable aviation fuel is currently the most successfully tested renewable aviation fuel commercially available.
The BCAP program will cover over 50,000 acres Washington, Montana and California. Farmers who participate in the program are eligible to receive reimbursement of a majority of the cost of their camelina acreage for up to five years. The program is expected to create up to 265 full time jobs, as well as spur an overall economic impact of over $35 million in the three project areas.
"The BCAP program award will accelerate the production of sustainable jet fuel, while driving jobs and economic opportunity in rural America," said Tom Todaro, CEO of AltAir Fuels. "The program will dramatically expand camelina acres by reducing risk for farmers, facilitating production of lower cost feedstock and therefore a commercially viable path to domestic, sustainable fuels that are price competitive with petroleum fuel."
With more than 500,000 gallons of sustainable jet fuel sold to date, AltAir's camelina-based jet fuel has been the most thoroughly tested of any bio-based feedstock. Because it can be planted, harvested and converted into fuel using existing, proven and available technologies, camelina-based jet fuel is expected to remain the fuel of choice by both military and commercial customers.
The advanced fuel to be produced at AltAir facilities is a hydrocarbon "drop-in" replacement for petroleum-based Jet-A and meets the recently approved ASTM D7066-09 fuel specification. Its facilities will be located at or near traditional petroleum refineries leveraging existing infrastructure including blending and distribution to airports.
"The Obama Administration is committed to providing financial opportunities to rural communities, farmers and ranchers to produce biomass which will be converted to renewable fuels and increase America's energy independence," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The selection of these project areas is another step in the effort to assist the nation's advanced biofuel industry produce energy in commercial quantities from sustainable rural resources. This effort will create jobs and stimulate rural economies across the nation."
In December 2009, AltAir Fuels entered into a memorandum of understanding with 14 commercial airlines for the purchase of up to 750 million gallons of sustainable jet fuel over a 10 year period.
About AltAir Fuels
Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, AltAir Fuels (www.altairfuels.com) was formed in 2008 to develop projects for the production of jet fuel from sustainable feedstocks. The company and its partners are designing and building a network of sustainable aviation fuel production facilities.