SEATTLE -- With its carbon fiber and Kevlar bow slicing silently through the chilly waters of Puget Sound, the world's coolest boat purred into Seattle today. Earthrace is here.



Earthrace, the first 100-percent pure biodiesel race boat, is on a promotional tour in advance of its assault on the record for circumnavigating the globe.



Not only is it cool-looking, it's promoters say, it's cool-burning -- as its biodiesel engines emit 78 percent less carbon dioxide. Imperium Renewables Founder and President John Plaza, along with Imperium Renewables Chairman and CEO Martin Tobias, officially welcomed the Earthrace and provided its first U.S. biodiesel fuel at a special event at Bell Harbor Marina.



Circumnavigating the globe represents the pinnacle of powerboat challenges, and at 24,000 nautical miles, is also the world's longest race. The current record of 75 days was set by British boat Cable & Wireless in 1998. The Earthrace aims to smash this record by completing the voyage in less than 65 days, and will mark the first time in history that an official UIM Powerboat record will be attempted using renewable fuel.



Imperium Renewables currently owns the largest biodiesel operation in the West, Seattle Biodiesel, which is located in Seattle not far from Safeco Field. The company is in final permitting with the intent to start construction of the nation's largest biodiesel manufacturing facility in Grays' Harbor, Wash., this fall. The new plant will provide up to 100 million gallons of biodiesel fuel mainly from soybean, canola oil and other extracts.



"While many people are learning about the viability of biodiesel for heavy machinery and personal automobiles, there are many more applications," said Plaza. "Here in Puget Sound, we have one of the largest maritime industries in the country. What better place to demonstrate the incredible versatility of biodiesel?



"We're proud to support Earthrace and its goal of raising awareness of the capabilities and benefits of biodiesel and other renewable fuels."



Through a sponsorship by the Port of Seattle, the boat is on display at Bell Harbor Marina through Sunday, Aug. 6. It then makes its way down the Pacific Coast, stopping in Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego before cutting through the Panama Canal en route to the eastern United States.



More information on the Earthrace is available at www.earthrace.net.



Imperium Renewables is the first biodiesel-focused company in the United States to be funded by venture capital and has received venture funding from Nth Power, Technology Partners and Vulcan Capital.



SOURCE: Imperium Renewables via Business Wire.