The Defense Logistics Agency announced the largest purchase of advanced drop-in biofuels in government history on Monday in an effort to give the Department of Defense greater energy security going forward, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced.
The department purchased 450,000 gallons of biofuel from Dynamic Fuels and Solazyme in what Mabus said could be the largest drop-in biofuel purchase in United States history. While the Navy fleet alone uses more than 1.26 billion gallons of fuel each year, this biofuel purchase is significant because it accelerates the development and demonstration of a homegrown fuel source that can reduce America’s, and the military’s, dependence on foreign oil.
The fuel will be used for the Great Green Fleet Carrier Strike Group that will be on display this coming summer at the Rim of the Pacific Exercise off the coast of Hawaii.
“We are doing this for one simple reason: It makes us better warfighters,” Mabus said. “Our use of fossil fuels is a real threat to our national security and the U.S. Navy’s ability to project power overseas.”
“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 Vilsack, “Today’s announcement continues our efforts to meet that challenge. This is not work we can afford to put off for another day.”
Listen to Mabus and Visack discuss the initiative:[audio:http://s3.amazonaws.com/fedscoop-media/uploads/2011_12_DLA-Makes-Largest-Drop-In-BioFuel-Purchase-in-Government-History.mp3|titles=DLA Makes Largest Drop-In BioFuel Purchase in Government History]
“This contract clearly demonstrates that we’re building momentum for the continued commercialization of advanced renewable fuels production here in the U.S.,” said Andy Rojeski, a management committee member for Dynamic Fuels, a joint venture between Tyson Foods, Inc. and Syntroleum Corporation. “We believe the federal government’s commitment to procure more energy from renewable sources will help make our high performance, environmentally friendly fuel more cost competitive, potentially creating more jobs in the biofuels industry.”
“This historic contract is a major step forward for America’s energy security and the advanced biofuel industry in our country. Solazyme has delivered more than 360,000 liters of 100 percent algal derived renewable diesel to the U.S. Navy for their fuel certification program to date. The United States leads the world in advanced biofuel technology, and the Departments of Agriculture, Energy and the Navy have been instrumental in coming together to spur commercialization and grow our lead,” said Jonathan Wolfson, CEO, Solazyme. “We are honored to be working with the U.S. Navy and DLA-Energy in driving forward the Navy’s effort under Secretary Ray Mabus to source 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. And we are proud to be teaming up with Dynamic Fuels on this contract.”