US gives loans towards biofuel refineries


Februari 2, 2011  

The US Department of Energy is handing out $650 million (€479 million) in loans for new biofuels refineries as part of the government’s overall $17.5 billion (€12.9 billion) plan to support 18 clean energy projects around the country.

A renewable diesel plant to be built in the south of the US and a Florida bioenergy centre are two of the projects to receive loans.

Diamond Green Diesel will form a joint venture with Valero Energy Corporation and Darling International, and along with the $241 million loan from the US government will build a renewable diesel facility in Louisiana. The plant will be situated in Norco, about 20 miles from New Orleans, producing 137 million gallons of renewable diesel a year. The new facility will reduce greenhouse gases by more than 80% compared to conventional petroleum-based diesel and triple the amount of renewable diesel produced in the country. The project is expected to create 700 new jobs throughout construction and 60 jobs when the plant is completed.

INEOS Bio and its joint venture partner, New Planet Energy, also received a conditional commitment for a $75 million  loan from the US government to go towards its new project. The funds will be used to build a bioenergy centre near Vero Beach in Florida, producing eight million gallons of advanced biofuel a year as well as six megawatts of renewable power from biomass including yard, vegetative and wood wastes and municipal solid waste.

Construction has already begun on the project and is expected to be finished next year, creating 175 jobs throughout construction and 50 once completed.

In rural western Alabama, Coskata has also been given a $250 million loan to construct and operate a cellulosic ethanol biorefinery facility. The site will produce 55 million gallons a year, using woody biomass to produce ethanol.

In Pontotoc, Mississippi, Enerkem has been selected to receive an $80 million loan to build and operate a biorefinery that will be capable of producing 10 million gallons of advanced biofuel a year by refining about 100,000 tonnes of dried and post-sorted municipal solid waste through a thermo-chemical cellulosic process.

Other companies received loans towards environmental studies. In New York, the Cayuga County Public Utility Service Agency has been given $40,000 renewable energy feasibility study grant to examine turning farm-produced biogas into renewable heat and power for sale to business customers. In California, J & D Wilson and Sons Dairy has received an $8,250 grant for a feasibility study to evaluate the viability of installing a biomethane recovery and a liquefied natural gas liquefaction plant its dairy.

Source: Biofuels International