Project Thunderbird targets 10 biorefineries producing 550 million gallons of advanced biofuels using tribal lands

September 13, 2012 |

In California, the Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT) today announced the execution of the long-term Development Agreement enabling the 10-15 year major biofuel/bioenergy project between CERT, BioJet, and Tartoosh Environmental. The project, tagged “Thunderbird”, is a multi-feedstock, multi-technology set of projects anticipated to build out in excess of $3 billion. This initiative is seen to create significant economic activity, jobs, and capital investment opportunities in the field of renewables.

The goals of the Thunderbird project are to develop and build biofuel and bioenergy infrastructure on Native American lands which can
• Utilize 750,000+ acres of agricultural projects for use as biofuel feedstock with co-products used as animal feed.
• Utilize existing bioenergy feedstocks. Example 5 million board feet of damaged existing timber.
• Utilize existing alternative fuel feedstocks such as natural gas. Example 5 trillion cubic feet for GTL conversion to synthetic jet fuel and diesel.
• Utilize Algae feedstocks as they become technically and economically feasible to supplement biofuel feedstock base.
• Refine/convert feedstocks to approximately 250 million gallons annually of renewable (bio) jet fuel and diesel and approximately 300 million gallons of synthetic jet or diesel.
• These biofuel/synthetic fuel goals would require approximately 10 Biorefinery plants.
• Convert waste biomass to high value energy products such as C5 molasses to be used in food production, green power, ethanol, or biochemicals and lignin to supplement coal in power and heat generation
• These biomass conversion projects would require approximately 5 waste-to-energy plants.
• Create Integrated Renewable Energy Parks where possible utilizing multiple renewable energy sources.

The objective is to accomplish the above goals in a Sustainable fashion emphasizing heritage preservation, social equity, environmental risk management, energy planning, and security; biofuels sustainability; job creation; profitability for project partners and stakeholders, and efficient and innovative deployment of capital.

The parties have agreed to each donate 10% of their net profits to the CERT TRIBES Education Program for education in science, environmental, energy and business and sustainability studies and degrees.

CERT, with 57 Tribal members, was founded by Indian Tribes in 1975 to provide advice and support for Tribes in developing and sustaining long-term energy goals. BioJet is a supply chain integrator in biofuels developing a worldwide renewable jet fuel business as well as products such as C5 sugars, coal supplements, and specialty chemicals. Tartoosh, for CERT, is the leader of the Red Earth Star Alliance which is the enabling vehicle.

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