GREAT FALLS, MT – To the applause of onlookers, the ribbon was cut on Sustainable Oils’ new 20,000 square foot state-of-the-art North America headquarters building in Great Falls today. Complete with plant breeding and research labs, the facility currently employs a staff of 13 and works with over 100 U.S. farmers to grow camelina – the plant used by their parent company Global Clean Energy to produce ultra-low carbon renewable fuels. Renewable diesel produced from camelina is a drop-in replacement for traditional diesel, but with fewer contaminants and far less emissions. In fact, camelina has the potential to receive the lowest carbon intensity score of available feedstocks on the market.
Sustainable Oils specializes in the breeding, research, and marketing of camelina. They contract directly with farmers in the Northern Plains, High Plains, and Pacific Northwest, to grow camelina that will ultimately be used to create renewable fuels at Global Clean Energy’s refinery in Bakersfield, California.
“With the opening of our North American headquarters, Sustainable Oils is poised to be a leader in camelia production worldwide, enhancing economic opportunities for rural agricultural communities while producing some of the lowest carbon renewable fuel feedstock in the world,” Richard Palmer, Global Clean Energy CEO said. “This facility will help us to continue on our path to bridge energy and agriculture, without impacting food security.”
“We are pleased to make Great Falls our long-term home,” Sustainable Oils President Mike Karst said. “This headquarters will help increase Sustainable Oils’ presence in the regional agricultural framework and add additional jobs to the community.”
Camelina is a short-season nonfood oilseed crop that grows between crop cycles on land farmers keep fallow or idle. Camelina plants protect fallow land like a cover crop but are harvestable, allowing farmers to be paid like a cash crop.
“By providing value added opportunities for farmers in Montana and throughout North America regions, Sustainable Oils is expanding business opportunities and strengthening agricultural communities. This is the kind of innovative agriculture that Montana aims to attract,” Montana Department of Agriculture Director Christy Clark said. “Our department is pleased that Sustainable Oils selected our state as home to their operations and we look forward to working together to advance Montana’s ag economy.”
The Grand Opening featured facility tours, including the camelina breeding lab. Sustainable Oils camelina is bred to increase yield, quicken maturity, enhance stress tolerance, and use less water. As a result of 15+ years of development, Sustainable Oils camelina has become a leader in renewable fuel source material, while providing additional revenue for farmers from land otherwise left idle. Today, Global Clean Energy owns the largest camelina patent and plant variety portfolio in the world.
“Great Falls welcomes Sustainable Oils to our community,” Great Falls Mayor Bob Kelly said. “We look forward to their participation in the many volunteer opportunities, social and business events our community offers, and we foresee a successful partnership moving forward.”
Sustainable Oils is a member of the Montana Grain Growers Association, Montana Agri-Business Association, and the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. Representatives from these organizations as well as representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Jon Tester, U.S. Senator Steve Daines and U.S. Congressman Matt Rosendale were also in attendance for the event.