Casterra announces $2.2 million more in castor-seed purchase orders for new African territories
Evogene Ltd. subsidiary Casterra Ag Ltd. announced July 3 an additional $2.2 million in purchase orders to supply castor seeds this year for new African territories.
Casterra's castor seeds, developed with Evogene’s GeneRator AI tech engine, will be used to grow castor to produce oil for sustainable biofuel.
The news follows the company’s announcement last month of $9.1 million in seed sales.
Casterra’s high-yield, high-oil castor-seed varieties are optimized for biofuel production to support the growing sustainable-energy market.
“The biodiesel market is estimated at $92 billion in 2021, which is about 9 percent of the overall global diesel market and is expected to reach $190 billion by 2030,” Casterra stated. “In current industry practice, biodiesel is based on a mix of about 93 percent to 95 percent fossil oil and 5 percent to 7 percent nonfossil oil from plants or other sources. The demand for nonfossil oil for biodiesel could increase either by growth of the biodiesel segment in the regular diesel market and/or by an increase in the percentage of nonfossil used in the biodiesel mix.”
Biofuels offer significant advantages over conventional petrochemical fuels, presenting a renewable and biodegradable alternative with substantially lower negative environmental impact.
Casterra said castor has emerged as a standout nonfossil-oil candidate due to its carbon-neutral properties, with emissions during combustion closely matching the carbon dioxide absorbed during the growth of castor plants.
Furthermore, the castor plant can be cultivated on marginal lands, in semiarid to arid conditions, and it does not compete on ground with edible crops.
As Evogene's subsidiary, Casterra spearheads the development of proprietary high-yield castor varieties leveraging the company’s cutting-edge computational biology technologies.
It does this by utilizing Evogene’s GeneRator AI tech engine and incorporating advanced computational AI capabilities and proprietary plant-genomic databases.
“We are thrilled to receive additional significant purchase orders for our unique castor seed, which confirms our value proposition for the sustainable biofuel industry,” said Eyal Ronen, CEO of Casterra. “As we eagerly hope to secure more orders in the future, this accomplishment reinforces our ongoing commitment to delivering exceptional, ecofriendly solutions to meet the ever-growing global demand for renewable energy. After more than a decade of hard work and an investment of tens of millions of dollars in developing our unique varieties and underlying technology, we are proud that Casterra is now a trusted and reliable supplier in this growing market.”
Casterra has built its castor genetic assets based on a broad collection of over 300 castor lines from more than 40 different geographic and climatic regions.
As part of its development process, Casterra applies advanced breeding methods utilizing Evogene’s Generator AI tech engine, enabling the use of cutting-edge plant genomics tools and agro-technique expertise to enable efficient and sustainable industrial-scale production of the castor bean.