USDA to play biofuels supply chain match-maker

By Kris Bevill | March 21, 2012

The USDA is hosting an event March 30 at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. to facilitate communication between feedstock producers and biofuels producers with the goal of improving awareness and understanding of the complexities of the biofuels supply chain. Dubbed “match making day” by the agency, the complimentary daylong event will include presentations from the USDA, U.S. Department of the Navy, U.S. DOE, Federal Aviation Administration and stakeholders highlighting each section of the supply chain and relating their experiences in each respective sector. Potential growth and opportunities throughout the supply chain will be discussed, with ample time allowed for discussion between attendees and presenters.

“America needs and is developing a reliable, sustainable, fuel supply,” Sarah Bittleman, USDA senior advisor, said in a statement. “That is why USDA and the Obama administration are working with our federal partners, states and private industry to pursue an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy to promote American-produced renewable energy coupled with domestic oil and gas production.”

To date, scaling up the production of energy crops and other cellulosic feedstocks to the commercial-level has presented a number of complex challenges. The USDA’s session plans to offer discussion related to a number of those concerns, including logistical challenges, potential roles of service providers and potential pitfalls.

The event is expected to be particularly relevant to feedstock providers, biofuels processors, feedstock transporters, and machinery manufacturers.  Interested parties can attend the event free of charge, but must register in advance via email at osec-resupplychain@osec.usda.gov. For more information, call 202-401-0461.