January 21, 2011

USDA Announces Loan Guarantees For Three Cellulosic Ethanol Projects

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that biofuels and biomass energy projects across America have been selected for funding to continue the Administration's support for the development of renewable fuels. Vilsack highlighted the various investments USDA made since he laid out a broad vision to spur rural revitalization through renewable energy production in a speech at the National Press Club in October 2010.

"Building an active biofuels and biomass industry in every region of the country will help to create jobs and provide economic opportunity for people who live in rural communities," said Vilsack. "The Obama Administration knows these investments will benefit all of America because renewable energy provides the opportunity for a cleaner environment and greater energy security for our country."

The announcement includes three projects totaling $405 million in guarantee loans.

  • Coskata, Inc. has received a letter of intent for a $250 million loan guarantee to construct and operate a cellulosic ethanol biorefinery facility. This 55-million gallon-per-year renewable biofuel project will use woody biomass to produce ethanol.
  • Enerkem Corporation has been selected to receive an $80 million loan guarantee to build and operate a biorefinery that will be capable of producing 10 million gallons of advanced biofuel (cellulosic ethanol) per year by refining some 100,000 metric tons of dried and post-sorted municipal solid waste through a thermo-chemical cellulosic process.
  • INEOS New Planet BioEnergy, LLC. has been selected to receive a $75 million loan guarantee to construct and operate a biorefinery capable of producing 8 million gallons-per-year of cellulosic ethanol and gross electricity production capacity of 6 MW. The feedstock for the process will include primarily vegetative waste (citrus and agricultural wastes), yard wastes, wood waste, and municipal solid waste.

Each company has specified conditions that they must meet in order to complete the loan.

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