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Quebec biofuel company partners with Qantas in first long-term airline deal
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Quebec biofuel company partners with Qantas in first long-term airline deal

A Quebec biofuels company has signed its first deal to power an airline’s jets with energy grown from Canadian oilseeds.

Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. of Gatineau will supply biofuel to Australia’s Qantas Airways made from Carinata seed, a non-food, industrial type of mustard seed that produces oil suitable for aviation and diesel fuel.

The partnership is the first of its kind in Australia and will see Agrisoma work with Australian farmers to grow Carinata. That will be complemented by seeds grown elsewhere to feed its global travel network.

The long-term goal is to grow the crop on 400,000 hectares to produce more than 200 million litres of bio jet fuel and replace 30 to 50 per cent of the airline’s annual fuel needs, said Agrisoma CEO Steven Fabijanski.

He expects Qantas will begin to use the biofuel in 18 to 24 months. International fuel standards limit biofuels to replace up to half of fossil fuels, however traditional blends range between five and 30 per cent green fuel, he said.

Fabijanski said the Agrisoma’s partnership with the Australian carrier was a natural fit.

“The ability to be able to look at accessing this type of fuel on a global basis was certainly attractive to them,” he said.

Qantas plans to conduct the world’s first biofuel flight between the United States and Australia in January to show the benefits of the renewable fuel, Fabijanski added.

Australia’s national carrier conducted its first biofuel trial flights in 2012 using Airbus planes on two domestic routes. The fuel used was derived from cooking oil that was mixed evenly with conventional jet fuel.

Qantas said it chose Agrisoma because the Carinata seed can be grown in Australia and the Canadian company has a proven track record and is committed to establishing a supply chain…

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