Three renewable fuel and biomass projects have received loan guarantees totaling $405 million, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced yesterday.

“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.”

“These loan guarantees will be absolutely instrumental in bringing advanced and cellulosic ethanol production to the commercial market,” added Bob Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association. “Secretary Vilsack and the team at USDA are providing a timely and much-needed boost to help this nation realize its potential for domestically produced renewable alternatives to imported oil.”

The loan-guarantee recipients and amounts are:

  • Coskata, Inc., $250 million to build and operate a cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in Greene County, AL. The 55-million-gallon-per-year project will use woody biomass to produce ethanol.
  • Enerkem Corp., $80 million for a Pontotoc, MS, biorefinery capable of producing 10 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year from 100,000 metric tons of dried and post-sorted municipal solid waste.
  • INEOS New Planet BioEnergy, LLC, $75 million to build and operate a facility with an annual production capacity of 8 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol plus 6 megawatts of electricity.
    Feedstocks for the Vero Beach, FL, plant will include 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.

Vilsack also announced payments made to eligible producers in 33 states under the Advanced Biofuels Payment Program to support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels, and $1.6 million in grant funding for 68 feasibility studies under the Rural Energy for America Program.