The leading agro-research companies will extend their elite tree genetics partnership, to deliver on high-volume offtake agreements from reforestation and commercial pongamia planting in Paraguay, Brazil and Australia.
6 July 2021, Asunción, Paraguay. Rotterdam, Netherlands. Brisbane, Australia – Leading agro-research companies BioEnergy Plantations Australia Pty Ltd (BPA) and Investancia Group have agreed to extend their world-leading pongamia tree genetics partnership.
Based on new propagation protocols and the exclusive access to the world’s best pongamia genetics – Investancia and BPA will further cooperate in developing volume-based reforestation and commercial planting in Paraguay, Brazil and Australia.
Investancia is working with South Americas’ best-in-class tree propagation and forestry professionals and has obtained import licenses for its pongamia genetics from the Ministries of Agriculture in Paraguay and Brazil. The pongamia trees produce oil that is refined for next generation biofuel that are considered to be highly important to decarbonizing transport and food industries.
BPA holds sole and exclusive rights to collect and select pongamia genetics in the Brisbane City Council in Queensland, Australia. The Brisbane City Council started planting the species on the streets of Brisbane County, for aesthetic purposes, back in the 1980’s. The Brisbane County is today considered to hold the highest yielding pongamia genetics in the world, as a result of early, rigorous and continuous selection of trees for abundant flowering and thus high pod yield.
“We are very pleased to extend our partnership with BPA to ensure the use of world’s best genetics in our large-scale reforestation activities. This on-going commitment is vital to further develop our local pongamia genetics library which will have far reaching impacts for the decarbonization of the global fuel and food economies and the sequestration of carbon from reforestations”. said Marcel van Heesewijk, CEO & Founder at Investancia Group.
BPA and Investancia started their genetics exchange program in 2015 by signing exclusive rights to test and outplant the Brisbane County genetics in South America. Since then, the companies have collaborated closely to develop clonal-based propagation and reforestation planting protocols that allow for volume production of the highest quality pongamia genetics.
“Having worked with members of the Investancia team at our facility in Queensland, we are more than happy with the long-term prospects of the relationship moving forward. This arrangement will be mutually beneficial, as it provides Investancia with elite pongamia genetics selected over an 18-year period of observation screening for yield consistency, disease resistance, tree architecture and oil content. It further provides access to multiyear genetics-research outcomes carried out by BPA and the University of Queensland.
BPA will benefit from access to the Investancia team’s R&D on volume propagation in a much more scalable and favorable cost environment for mass production of planting material for use in Australia and other locations.” said George Muirhead, Director at BioEnergy Plantations Australia.
Native to India and Australia, the pongamia trees are auto-fertilizing and highly adaptive, allowing them to grow on degraded land. They are flood and drought resilient, and yet non-invasive. The trees produce pods containing oilseeds that are high in protein and vegetable oil. Pongamia oil, also known as ‘reforestation oil’ is regarded by renewable diesel (HVO) and Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) refiners as one of the key next-generation feedstocks to decarbonize global transport. It has one of the lowest carbon intensity (CI) levels of all available feedstocks. In direct comparison with soybean oil, pongamia oil is 3 times less carbon intensive, and can produce up to 10 times more yield.