Farm-to-Fleet venture to make drop-in biofuel blends part of regular operational fuel use by US military
Starting next year, the joint “Farm-to-Fleet” venture of the US Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Navy will make biofuel blends part of regular, operational fuel purchase and use by the military. The announcement incorporates the acquisition of biofuel blends into regular Department of Defense (DOD) domestic solicitations for jet engine and marine diesel fuels. The Navy will seek to purchase JP-5 and F-76 advanced drop-in biofuels blended from 10 to 50 percent with conventional fuels. Funds from USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) will assist the effort.
The announcement marks the first time alternative fuels such as advanced drop-in biofuels will be available for purchase through regular procurement practices. It lowers barriers for alternative domestic fuel suppliers to do business with DOD. Preliminary indications from the Defense Production Act Title III Advanced Drop-in Biofuels Production Project are that drop-in biofuels will be available for less than $4 per gallon by 2016, making them competitive with traditional sources of fuel.
The program gets underway with a bulk fuels solicitation in 2014, with deliveries expected in mid-2015. USDA and Navy also are collaborating on an Industry Day, 30 Jan. 2014, at which stakeholders can learn more about Farm-to-Fleet.
Farm-to-Fleet builds on the USDA / US Navy partnership inaugurated in 2010, when President Barack Obama challenged his Secretaries of Agriculture, Energy and Navy to investigate how they could work together to speed the development of domestic, competitively-priced drop-in diesel and jet fuel substitutes.
A secure, domestically-produced energy source is very important to our national security. Energy is how our naval forces are able to provide presence around the world. Energy is what gets them there and keeps them there. The Farm-to-Fleet initiative we are announcing today is important to advancing a commercial market for advanced biofuel, which will give us an alternative fuel source and help lessen our dependence on foreign oil.—Navy Secretary Ray Mabus