Feb 20, 2024
North San Joaquin Valley receives AA BDO zone rating for tree nut biomass

BEAM Circular, the Almond Board of California, Stanislaus County and Ecostrat announced the issue of a rare “AA” rating to the North San Joaquin Valley Bioeconomy Development Opportunity Zone centered in Modesto, California, North America’s first BDO Zone rating for orchard biomass, nut tree shells and almond hulls.

The North San Joaquin Valley BDO Zone investment grade rating denotes “very high quality” feedstock supply chains and infrastructure. The region exhibits a longstanding industry supported by 6,300 nut tree growers and suppliers along with a robust network of processors and separators of nuts from shells and hulls in concentrated locations.The BDO Zone Initiative has issued a ‘AA’ BDO Zone rating covering 1,104,000 tons per year of underutilized woody and nut tree biomass in the North San Joaquin Valley, California

Decreasing local demand for local biomass along with significant quantities of feedstock currently available for the cost of transportation create ideal conditions for large-scale bio-project development. Significant infrastructure advantages include flexible zoning, access to natural gas, rail connectivity and proximity to an extensive highway system.

“The ‘AA’ rating for the North San Joaquin Valley’s BDO Zone is a testament to our region’s unique positioning for global leadership in the bioeconomy,” Karen Warner, CEO of BEAM Circular said. “Local communities here are proactively investing in the infrastructure, partnerships, and innovation that will allow us to grow world-class bioindustrial manufacturing facilities in the heart of the most productive agricultural state in America. This region is ready to support and scale the future of sustainable bioproduction.”

“Almond biomass is uniquely concentrated with well established transport systems. With this rating and the research investments made by the almond industry, we stand ready to partner with companies in bio-based industries,” said Josette Lewis, vice president and chief scientific officer of the Almond Board of California (ABC).

“ABC believes these biomass industries would add value to the almond industry and would also help with environmental stewardship even more,” Kushman said in an email.

Rick Kushman, manager, media relations for ABC said that ABC co-funded the assessment that earned the high rating.

“Rated for over a million tons of underutilized project-available feedstock, this first ‘AA’ BDO Zone rating for tree nut biomass underscores the high level of regional readiness for biomanufacturing within the North San Joaquin Valley,” Jordan Solomon, chairman of the BDO Zone Initiative said.  Solomon also noted that the zone offers very low-risk supply chains and is a prime target for top-tier and innovative bio-based projects. 

“Stanislaus County is proud to be investing in the growth of our region’s bioproduction leadership,” said Mani Grewal, Chairman of the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors. The county welcomes collaboration with new projects that create quality jobs and advance the economic vitality of our community, the release said.

The full BDO Zone Rating for North San Joaquin Valley is available online

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