St1 Norge, Finnish energy firm St1’s Norwegian subsidiary, has entered into a preliminary collaboration agreement with oil palm plantation firm C2Biotrade to develop plantations in Colombia for biofuel production.

The companies signed a letter of intent on 25 May, establishing their intent to afforest low alternative land to biologically capture and store atmospheric carbon while at the same time producing biofuels, St1 said in a statement.

To this end, C2Biotrade was looking to plant 60,000ha of African palm – with a palm oil yield of 250,000 tonnes/year – that could capture more atmospheric CO2 that the current unfertile and low productive grassland.

With the atmospheric carbon reduction, the biofuel produced from the palm oil could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 134% compared with fossil fuels, according to St1.

The arrangement with C2Biotrade would establish a new sustainable biofuels supply chain to the Nordic countries while, at the same time, contributing to international afforestation efforts, the firm added.

“In parallel with our efforts to develop technology for the production of even more climate friendly biofuels, we are developing carbon farming. In other words, we are working on finding the most suitable method for biological carbon capture and storage through afforestation. C2Biotrade is a very interesting partner in this area,” said St1 director of renewable energy Thomas Hansen.

The current letter of intent covered a framework for how to establish an off-take agreement that would enable an increase of biofuels supply to the Nordics and increase employment levels in Colombia, thus strengthening the ongoing peace efforts the country’s government had initiated with the FARC guerrilla movement in 2017.