Montana funds crushing plant feasibility study

By Susanne Retka Schill | January 01, 2009
Web exclusive posted Dec. 8, 2008 at 4:15 p.m. CST

The Montana Agriculture Development Council awarded a $50,000 grant to Great Plains-The Camelina Co. to study the feasibility of an oilseed crushing plant in Montana. "It is one of the first big steps going forward in creating an infrastructure in Montana for camelina," said Casey Novak, Great Plains spokeswoman. "We have a chicken and egg situation. We need the infrastructure to get the growers, and we need the growers to justify the infrastructure." She said the grant is a welcomed show of support for camelina development from the state.

The grant application was presented jointly to the council by Great Plains Chief Executive Officer Sam Huttenbauer and Pam Lemer, value added agriculture coordinator for Bear Paw Development Corp., a regional economic development organization based in Havre, Mont.

"This is an exciting time for both our company and the future of fuel in America," Huttenbauer said. "We are pleased about this investment by the state of Montana and look forward to continuing to pursue this exciting economic development opportunity for our company and Montana."

"Great Plains' development of this project is a classic example of the continuing growth in value-added agriculture in our state that will help promote job creation and economic diversification for Montana," said Paul Tuss, executive director for Bear Paw Development. "Agriculture is the backbone of our economy, and it is innovative efforts like this one that will ensure the continued growth of Montana's economy for years to come."

Great Plains is developing camelina as an oilseed crop for biodiesel production in Montana, Washington, Oregon and surrounding states. Once a camelina acreage base has been established, and a crushing facility is in place, Great Plains expects to develop a biodiesel plant in Montana.
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