Continental Energy Corporation (Continental), its wholly-owned Indonesian subsidiary, PT Kilang Kaltim Continental (KKC), and Hexas Biomass Inc. (Hexas) have announced the forming of an unincorporated strategic alliance and a joint venture between Hexas and KKC. The main objective is the production of Hexas' proprietary "XanoGrass" plant varieties for use as a sustainable source of biomass feedstocks for advanced biofuels production at KKC's Maloy Refinery development site in East Kalimantan.
Based in Olympia, Washington (WA), United States (US), Hexas Biomass is a private, biomaterials company focused on plant-based materials solutions. Hexas’ regenerative biomaterials replace wood and fossil fuel-based raw materials in multiple applications including bioenergy, biocomposites, structural/non-structural products, and bioremediation.
Hexas has developed a proprietary variety of giant grass called “XanoGrass” that is perennial, fast-growing, yields 50-85 dry tonnes of biomass per hectare year-over-year. It is highly pest-resistant, grows in different climates and soil types, is drought tolerant and has low ecological demand.
XanoGrass is a sterile, non-seed producing grass and is therefore rendered non-invasive. Once planted, it can be harvested repeatedly for up to 20-years before re-planting is necessary. It is a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved bioenergy crop that meets US Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS).
The company has also developed a proprietary patent-pending “Farm-to-Fiber” system for the low-cost, carbon-negative production and delivery of its biomaterials to its customers. Harvested stalks, stems, and leaves of XanoGrass are not intended for human or animal consumption and XanoGrass production does not displace food crop production.
It is an honor and a remarkable opportunity we have to work with KKC to bring XanoGrass and XanoFiber raw materials to Indonesia. We are more than pleased to work with Rich and the KKC team on a biomass solution to produce sustainable, advanced cellulosic biofuels to support national biofuel mandates. Our goal with our Farm-to-Fiber platform is to disrupt the use of fossil fuels and food crops for fuel without interrupting existing supply chains and business while enabling our customers to use XanoGrass feedstock and XanoFiber biomaterials to make a difference in local communities through jobs creation and ecosystem services while mitigating the impact of climate change on lives and livelihoods, said Wendy Owens, CEO of Hexas Biomass.
Utilize degraded land
Canada-headed Continental Energy Corporation is a developer of small-scale crude oil refineries – 5 000 to 25 000 barrels per day (bpd) – purposefully located near existing crude oil feedstock production in order to cost-efficiently refine and deliver fuels directly to under-served local markets in the rapidly growing and emerging economy of Indonesia.
PT Kilang Kaltim Continental (KKC) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Continental, that is fully licensed by Indonesian foreign direct investment and energy ministry authorities to build, own, and operate a 24 000 bpd, state of the art, digitally controlled, integrated biofuels, and crude oil refinery in the Maloy special economic zone in the Kutai Timur Regency East Kalimantan province of Indonesia.
KKC plans to refine and blend advanced biofuels that meet the Indonesian government-required renewable biofuel mandate of B30 biodiesel and E20 ethanol for sale to the Indonesian domestic market.
Both Continental and Hexas have recognized an opportunity presented by the availability of large tracts of degraded land nearby KKC’s Maloy Refinery site.
Here the original fertile topsoil, and in some cases, the subsoil and the entire soil profile has been eroded and exhausted due to insufficient agricultural or forestry soil conservation practices, or has been removed, polluted, or damaged by decades of strip-mining activity.
The provincial government of East Kalimantan is looking for solutions to restore and regenerate over 2 million hectares (ha) of degraded soil. Cultivation of XanoGrass on available damaged land near the Maloy site using Hexas’ Farm-to-Fiber system and business model can help to:
- restore, regenerate, and reclaim barren soils;
- provide local farmers an income opportunity and guaranteed harvest offtake; and
- minimize renewable biofuels feedstock transport costs and reduce the overall CO2 footprint of the clean biofuels to be produced at KKC’s refinery.
XanoGrass is seen as an ideal biomass source for the production of advanced biofuels that meet the government mandate as well as an ideal renewable feedstock for planned refinery expansions to add production capacity for “Green Methanol” and “Green Hydrogen”.
We are proud to be associated with Hexas. Wendy and her team have developed a great proprietary technology with XanoGrass plants and the XanoFiber biomaterial, plus a well-thought-out Farm-to-Fiber business model on how to monetize them. Hexas and its technologies offer a short path to enabling our Maloy Refinery to produce enhanced and certifiably “green” and renewable fuel products, including biodiesel, fuel grade ethanol, methanol, and hydrogen. Producing special-application biomaterials derived from XanoFiber is a value-added bonus. It offers our Alliance a substantial future revenue stream from the sale of such products, said Rich McAdoo, CEO of Continental and Commissioner of KKC.