When Paolo Lugari visited the Boulder Biodiesel facility in 2003, he realized that Gaviotas could mount a biodiesel operation for far less cost and effort than he had originally thought. He invited the Boulder team to help him establish a biodiesel plant for Gaviotas, and immediately began brainstorming with them about how to set up a dual biodiesel and palm oil operation. 

In April 2004, Friends of Gaviotas accompanied six volunteers from Boulder Biodiesel and the University of Colorado to Bogota for a biodiesel installation workshop. Together with staff from Centro Las Gaviotas, they built the first biodiesel plant in Colombia. It is the first in the world to utilize crude palm oil at a semi-industrial scale. The joint Colombian/North American team also converted one Gaviotas truck to using crude palm oil as fuel. With this plant, Gaviotas now is completely independent from fossil fuels. See the photo gallery for more pictures.

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