Agroforestry and research company Investancia has signed a HVO feedstock deal with agro energy firm ECB Group that will involve the planting of 50M pongamia trees in Paraguay, ECB Group announced on 23 February.

ECB Group said the 30-year contract would involve the purchase of 300,000 tonnes/year of “reforestation oil” sourced from pongamia trees for use as a sustainable feedstock for its new Omega Green biorefinery.

The pongamia trees at produced by Dutch/Paraguayan firm Investancia at its research and development centre near Carmelo Peralta in the Paraguayan Chaco region. The site’s current 1M trees/year production capacity will increase to a total of 50M trees planted on 125,000ha over the next 10 years.

“Over the past year, we have been able to jointly develop plans to put South America, and more specifically Paraguay, on the map as the leading region for next generation green fuels, using feedstock generated by our certified reforestation activities in the Paraguayan Chaco,” said Investancia CEO and founder Marcel van Heesewijk.

The agreement would diversify the portfolio of raw materials used at the Omega Green biorefinery with lower carbon intensity solutions, said ECB Group CEO Erasmo Carlos Battistella.

ECB Group’s new Omega Green biorefinery will be built in Villeta, Paraguay, and will have a total production capacity of 20,000 barrels/day.

The facility would product a blend of fuels such as hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and green naphtha, the company said.

The group said it has signed contracts with Shell and BP to supply approximately 1bn litres of renewable diesel and renewable aviation fuel annually.

The pongamia meal from the oil extraction process was high in protein and would be

used as a raw material for animal feed production, the company said.