TORRANCE, CALIFORNIA, US – Global Clean Energy Holdings, Inc. (GCE), a vertically integrated renewable fuels company, on Jan. 3 announced it has acquired Camelina Company España S.L. (CCE), Europe’s largest camelina crop innovator and seed producer headquartered in Madrid, Spain.
CCE has for more than 10 years developed intellectual property (IP) in camelina to support a sustainable biofuels value chain. CCE’s IP includes superior genetics, breeding capabilities, high quality planting seed, advanced agronomic research, and knowledge to support the cultivation of camelina by contract farmers. CCE, together with Sustainable Oils, Inc. (SusOils), also a wholly owned subsidiary of GCE, will further enhance the company's portfolio of patented camelina genetics.
CCE and SusOils have been collaborating for some time to expand and harmonize their collective research and development activities. GCE said the combined capabilities will accelerate the development of proprietary germplasm and varieties of camelina that will provide third-party contract camelina growers in North America, Western Europe and South America with additional revenue opportunities by sustainably increasing their fallow crop rotation options.
“The addition of CCE to our family of companies and its synergy with SusOils further advances our goal of increasing the commercial value of camelina through improved agronomics and plant genetics,” said Richard Palmer, president and chief executive officer of GCE. “Together, CCE and SusOils will build on our combined decades of camelina research and development activities that are focused on improving yield, reducing growing time, modifying plant oil chemistry to enhance biorefinery efficiency, and improving livestock feed qualities of camelina meal.
“This acquisition demonstrates our ongoing commitment to investing both domestically and internationally in the science, infrastructure and farmer education necessary to deliver high-quality camelina feedstocks to satisfy the growing worldwide demand for renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuels while not displacing food crops or impacting food security. This acquisition provides an established launching pad for our rapid expansion into Europe and South America.”
Established in 2010, CCE is Europe’s largest camelina crop innovator and seed producer. In 2013, it was the first global company to receive a sustainability certification from the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), a global sustainability standard and certification system for biofuels and biomaterials production. The company has extensive expertise in camelina production along the complete value chain, having supplied sustainable and certified camelina oil for aviation biofuel production, as well as camelina meal, a high-quality plant-based protein source for the livestock feed industry. The company maintains an ongoing plant breeding program with more than 600 camelina germplasm lines and owns nine proprietary camelina varieties, which enables the sustainable introduction of camelina in different crop rotations without displacing any primary crops.
“We are excited by the significant synergies that exist between CCE, GCE and SusOils,” said Yuri Herreras Yambanis, director, CCE. “Combining the knowledge and expertise of our organizations provides us the opportunity to further advance camelina research and production in ways that deliver profitable and sustainable advantages for both regenerative agriculture and the renewable fuels industry.”
Camelina is an essential part of the feedstock plan for GCE’s integrated farm-to-fuels strategy. In early 2022, GCE will open a newly renovated renewable diesel biorefinery in Bakersfield, California, US, and supply ExxonMobil up to 220 million gallons annually of renewable diesel under a pair of long-term purchase agreements.
Camelina traditionally has been cultivated as an oilseed crop to produce vegetable oil and animal feed. Ample archeological evidence shows it has been grown in Europe for at least 3,000 years.
Studies have shown camelina-based jet fuel reduces net carbon emissions by about 80%. The United States Navy chose it as the feedstock for their first test of aviation biofuel, and successfully operated a static F414 engine in October 2009 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.