Mission NewEnergy petitions EPA for palm oil pathway

By Erin Voegele | September 21, 2011

Australia-based Mission NewEnergy Ltd. recently announced the development of an improved palm oil supply chain process called Mission g-Palm that is designed to maximize greenhouse gas (GHG) savings when producing biodiesel. According to information released by Mission, the company has petitioned the U.S. EPA for approval to sell its enhanced g-Palm oil-based biodiesel in the U.S. Mission also stated that its biodiesel product has already been accepted into major European markets after demonstrating to regulatory authorities that it meet EU sustainability requirements.

James Garton, Mission’s head of corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions, noted that g-Palm is quite different than traditional palm oil. “The entire production pathway of g-Palm has been improved to reduce the greenhouse gas profile of the finished biodiesel relative to biodiesel from traditional palm oil,” he said. “The improvements include, but are not limited to, modification to Mission’s biodiesel refineries, optimization of the transportation in the logistics and improvements at the palm oil mill like methane capture. It is the combination of all these steps which add up to significant GHG savings.”

According to Garton, if the EPA approves Mission’s pathway petition, it will “have the effect of creating an entirely new RFS2-approved pathway for the production of biodiesel, which would make the fuel eligible for RIN credits in the U.S.” While the petition is still pending, Garton notes that his company was the first to meet EU sustainability requirements for palm oil biodiesel. The petition that has been submitted to the EPA is based on work done to achieve EU certification of the product, he continued.

“Approval in the U.S. would provide Mission with a very material commercial advantage recognizing that palm oil enjoys a $34 per barrel cost advantage to soybean oil,” Garton said. “With this, Mission could take advantage of the rapidly escalating value of biodiesel in the U.S., created in part by the systemic shortage of RFS2 approved feedstocks.” 

 

 
 
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