ZeaChem Secures Biorefinery Feedstock Contract

Joanna Schroeder

It is a wood to biofuels kinda day today. ZeaChem has announced they have signed an agreement with GreenWood Tree Farm Fund (GTFF), managed by GreenWood Resources (GWR), to supply hybrid poplar woody biomass for its first commercial cellulosic biorefinery. The woody biomass is in close proximity to the proposed plant and when the plant goes into production, ZeaChem will combine the woody biomass with other local agricultural residue for feedstock costs the company believes will be 50 percent less than Brazilian sugarcane and 80 percent less than corn. ZeaChem’s first commercial biofuels plant will be located in Boardman, Oregon and when in production, will produce 25 million gallons per year (GPY).

“This landmark feedstock agreement represents a major milestone on the road to developing ZeaChem’s first commercial production facility and to become the world leader in low cost production of advanced biofuels and bio-based chemicals,” said Jim Imbler, president and chief executive officer of ZeaChem.“We are proud to have GreenWood Resources, a leading supplier of economical and sustainable cellulosic feedstock, as a partner in our commercial operation. The model we have developed provides a significant strategic advantage and is something that GWR and ZeaChem will seek to replicate around the world.”

With this agreement in place, ZeaChem now has 100 percent of its feedstock needs secured for its commercial plant. Today ZeaChem is constructing a 250,000 GPY demonstration facility at the same location that is expected to be online this year and GTFF is supplying the feedstock for this project as well. The company says hybrid popular trees are an excellent cellulosic feedstock because they have a high yield per acre, short rotation and the ability to regenerate after harvest.

Jeff Nuss, President and CEO of GreenWood Resources added, “This agreement with ZeaChem is a significant step for GTFF and for GreenWood Resources into new markets and end-uses that closely align with our sustainability goals. We believe that hybrid poplars are the ideal feedstock for advanced biofuels and bio-based chemicals and look forward to continuing to grow with ZeaChem.”

biofuels, feedstocks