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BIO applauds Defence Department’s domestic advanced biofuels opportunity

The US Department of Defence (DoD) has announced a public-private partnership opportunity to support an integrated domestic advanced drop-in biofuel biorefinery.

The funding opportunity is designed to share the cost of establishing one or more first-of-a-kind biorefineries and feedstock supply chains to provide the US military with already certified blends of biofuels.

The Biotechnology Industry Organisation (BIO) has applauded this decision as it believes the domestic advanced biofuel industry can play a huge part in promoting energy security, which is seen as critical for military readiness and national security.

‘Ensuring the reliability and affordability of fuel supplies through diversification to advanced drop-in alternative fuels is essential to sustain the US military’s readiness, since oil price volatility has already negatively impacted military readiness. This year alone, the $30 increase in oil prices resulted in more than $3 billion in additional, unplanned costs to DoD,’ says BIO’s executive VP of Industrial and Environmental, Brent Erickson.

Erickson also believes this announcement will relieve the pressure on private companies which have made substantial investments into researching and developing advanced biofuels over the years.

‘Building new advanced biofuel biorefineries requires large capital investments at a time when capital formation has been hampered by the recent economic downturn,’ he adds. ‘Public-private partnerships such as this can help attract the additional private investment needed to complete the job. The DoD has used these partnerships many times in the past to ensure that we maintain a domestic capacity to produce materials that are vital to national security.’