Tribal farmland in Washington State
Fri 27 Jan 2012 – Renewable aviation biofuel supply chain integrator BioJet International has formed a business alliance with the Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT), which represents 57 sovereign Indian Tribes that manage millions of acres of agricultural lands in the United States on which feedstocks for biofuels may be grown. A year ago, BioJet received a $1.2 billion facility from Equity Partners Fund, which is intended to help finance a $6 billion supply chain capital projects programme over the next 10 years that includes feedstock and refining projects, as well as investment and strategic acquisitions. BioJet CEO Mitch Hawkins said its relationship with CERT envisioned joint projects worth at least $1 billion over 10 years locating feedstock generation and refining operations to provide biofuels for airlines and ground transportation at key locations throughout the western United States.
CERT Executive Director David Lester said: “We believe our sovereign Tribal members together with BioJet are well suited to lead one of the largest economic transitions in history: the transition from a fossil-based to a biofuel-based transportation sector and, on a larger scale, the transition to building a foundation for sustainable Tribal communities and an infrastructure for US energy independence.”
CERT will be represented in the effort by Robert Martin, former National Ombudsman of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A Memorandum of Agreement is expected to be concluded within the next two months to define the participation terms of the two sides.
Under the direction of the elected leadership of the Tribes, CERT has been instrumental in restructuring the federal-Indian relationship with respect to minerals, mining, taxation and Tribal jurisdiction over environmental regulation on Indian lands.
In addition to agricultural land, CERT members collectively own and manage more than 30% of the coal west of the Mississippi, 40% of domestic uranium and 10% of known national oil and gas reserves in the United States.
Through its energy forums and Indian Energy Solutions conferences, CERT helps build understanding between Tribal interests and those of the companies operating within Tribal jurisdiction or doing business with Tribes.
BioJet says its activities span the entire biofuel chain including the generation of feedstock, technology, refining, logistics, sustainability certification, distribution and eventual use by the aviation sector worldwide. Through its subsidiaries, BioJet adds that it owns and controls multiple, large biofuel feedstock projects around the world.
To coincide with the ASTM approval of bio-derived jet fuel for commercial use in July last year, BioJet made a one-time introductory offer to the commercial aviation industry of fixed-price contracts pegging the price of its jet biofuel to $2.97 per gallon. It said it was in a position to release one billion gallons of renewable jet fuel on long-term contracts.
The company was the first to become an Alternative Fuels Strategic Partner of IATA and is also a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels.
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