A joint venture between Tyson Foods and a unit of Solazyme, the Bay Area maker of algae-based biofuel, have secured a contract to sell the U.S. Navy up to 450,000 gallons of next-generation drop-in biofuels.
The navy will buy a biofuel blend made from non-food waste distilled by Louisiana-based Dynamic Fuels, which is jointly-owned by Tyson Foods and Solazyme unit, Syntroleum Corporation.
The deal is part of the Obama’s administration’s $510 million, three-year investment program to advance the development and deployment of drop-in biofuels to substitute conventional, carbon-based diesel and jet fuel. The Agriculture, Energy, and Navy departments oversee the program.
The purchase, which still has to be approved by Congress, could act as a catalyst that could speedup the commercialization of next-generation biofuels.
“In March, the President challenged me, Secretary Mabus, and Secretary Steven Chu to work with the private sector to cultivate a competitively-priced—and domestically produced—drop-in biofuel industry that can power not just fighter jets, but also trucks and commercial airliners,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Dynamic Fuels’ Andy Rojeski added: “This contract clearly demonstrates that we’re building momentum for the continued commercialization of advanced renewable fuels production here in the U.S.”