Montana Refinery Gets Rail Cars of Camelina for Renewable Fuel
If you're looking at the photos above, you might say- Aaron, that's wheat in the top photo, not camelina. You're right. But here's the deal- this is a big story for wheat farmers too.
We caught up with Bruce Fleming. He's the CEO of Montana Renewables and the Executive Vice President of Development for Calumet Specialty Products in Great Falls, Montana.
Over the weekend, Montana Renewables and the Calumet refinery received their first 5 rail cars full of camelina. The camelina will now be put to use making renewable diesel fuel in Great Falls and open up a new market for Montana farmers.
Bruce Fleming: You remember very well our story in 2021, where we said we were going to do a thing. We've done it. We're running. And we're consuming a billion and a half pounds a year of feedstocks that start off in acreage. They start off on farm or ranch. And they get to us through a meatpacking plant or a crusher.
Fleming says with the addition of camelina into the mix, now wheat farmers here in Montana who use camelina as a cover crop- instead of plowing the camelina under- can sell the camelina to make renewable diesel here in Montana.
Bruce Fleming: This is a lot of new money, let's be clear. We're not competing with something else. We've got a new demand here. We've added between one and 2 billion pounds a year of consumption of either beef tallow, chicken or pork grease, or any seed oil, any seed oil at all. And that's all new cultivation, it's a couple of million acres worth of planting, and that can only be good for the ag community.
Fleming describes Montana Renewables and the Calumet Refinery as "the Western Hemisphere's largest sustainable aviation fuel producer." Given that footprint, Fleming says the demand for animal and plant-based feedstock should generate interest in an agri-business looking to build a facility to crush camelina in Montana, or better yet, Great Falls.
Here's our full conversation with Bruce Fleming ahead of Monday's announcement:
(note: podcast description should read "camelina")