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  • Sustainable Oils Inc.

Renewable diesel project developer opens camelina subsidiary headquarters in Montana

Palmer and Karst cut the ribbon on Sustainable Oils' new North American headquarters in Great Falls, Montana, June 23.

The ribbon was cut June 23 on Sustainable Oils Inc.’s new 20,000 square-foot state-of-the-art North American headquarters building in Great Falls, Montana.

Complete with plant breeding and research labs, the facility currently employs a staff of 13 and works with more than 100 U.S. farmers to grow camelina—the plant used by its parent company Global Clean Energy Holdings Inc. to produce renewable diesel.

Sustainable Oils specializes in the breeding, research and marketing of camelina. It contracts 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 converted refinery in Bakersfield, California.

“With the opening of our North American headquarters, Sustainable Oils is poised to be a leader in camelina production worldwide, enhancing economic opportunities for rural agricultural communities while producing some of the lowest carbon renewable fuel feedstock in the world,” said Richard Palmer, CEO of Global Clean Energy. “This facility will help us to continue on our path to bridge energy and agriculture, without impacting food security.”

Mike Karst, Sustainable Oils president, said, “We are pleased to make Great Falls our long-term home. 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,” said Christy Clark, director of the Montana Department of Agriculture. “This is the kind of innovative agriculture that Montana aims to attract. 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-plus 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, according to the company.

“Great Falls welcomes Sustainable Oils to our community,” said Bob Kelly, mayor of Great Falls. “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 from the offices of U.S. Sens. Jon Tester, D-Montana, and Steve Daines, R-Montana, and U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Montana, were also in attendance for the event.

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