Shell plans to develop oilseed genetics

American companies Equilon Enterprises (part of the Shell oil and gas corporation) and S&W Seed have agreed to form a joint venture called Vision Bioenergy Oilseeds to use genetics to breed new varieties of oilseeds that will be used as feedstock for biofuel production.

The key oilseed crop, genetics of which will be handled by Vision Bioenergy Oilseeds, will be camelina. Vision Bioenergy Oilseeds will receive from S&W Seed its developments in oilseed breeding and seed processing and the opportunity to use its research and development center.

Camelina is considered the most scalable and commercially viable oilseed crop capable of becoming a sustainable source of feedstock for the transition to renewable energy. Its processing has a low carbon footprint, cultivation reduces soil erosion.

“We are excited to form a joint venture with Shell, leveraging our camelina experience and demonstrating how agriculture and energy can work together to reduce carbon emissions,” commented Mark Wong, CEO of S&W Seed.

Shell’s interest in using oilseeds as a feedstock for biofuels is driven by the need to diversify its business, said the information and analytical service of Fertilizer Daily.

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