ArborGen, GreenWood sign strategic alliance to develop poplar feedstocks for US Southeast

March 17, 2011 |

In Georgia, During the BioPro Expo in Atlanta, ArborGen and GreenWood Resources announced a strategic business alliance that will bring together the science and technology of two of the world’s leaders in tree resource management, to meet the growing demand for woody biomass with purpose grown hardwood trees in the Southeastern United States.

This partnership will combine ArborGen regional nurseries and extensive tree germplasm resources with GreenWood’s proprietary hybridization and Varietal development program and its considerable expertise in management and tree farm operations.  The collaboration is intended to provide a significant increase in the supply of hybrid and pure-species poplar Varietals to Southeast landowners and opportunities into purpose grown hardwood tree farms for multiple markets.

ArborGen sold approximately 240 million seedlings in the United States, New Zealand and Australia in fiscal 2010.  GreenWood Resources is a leader in the development of elite, hybrid poplar germplasm and high yield short rotation tree farms. We profiled GreenWood last week in our look at ZeaChem’s demostration-scale cellulosic ethanol and acetic acid plant in Boardman, Oregon, which utilizes GreenWood’s high growth rates. GreenWood COO Hunter Brown said that well-managed poplar farms could see sustainable yields of up to 12 tons per acre per year. That’s enough to realize 1,000 gallons per acre using most cellulosic ethanol production systems, and up to 1600 gallons per acre if ZeaChem’s pilot results are duplicated in its demonstration and at commercial scale.

“Our companies possess complementary core capabilities and resources, which offer a unique opportunity for collaboration,” said Barbara Wells, president and CEO of ArborGen.  “By utilizing our collective poplar science and forestry expertise with ArborGen’s platform of regional nurseries and products as well as GreenWood’s management experience, we can work to fulfill the Southeast region’s need for biomass and meet the growing demand for wood, fiber and energy.”

“This partnership has been months in the making, and we are pleased that it has become a reality,” said Jeffrey L. Nuss, president and CEO of GreenWood Resources.  “Uniting our resources will provide a highly competitive and sustainable source of premium woody biomass for the growing Southeast market.  Along with this is a unique opportunity for markets to participate in the unfolding opportunities with GreenWood-managed tree farms.”

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