Biorefinery Program Accepting Loan Guarantee Applications

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for loan guarantees under the Biorefinery Assistance Program (Section 9003), authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, (the Farm Bill), according to a recent press release.

Funding is available for the first and second halves of Fiscal Year 2009; the respective deadlines are Dec. 31, 2008 and between March 1 and April 30, 2009. Applications should be sent to USDA Rural Development National Office, Energy Branch, Attention: Biorefinery Assistance Program, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, STOP 3225, Washington, DC, 20250-3225. For more details, check out the November 20, 2008 Federal Register.

The Biorefinery Assistance Program is designed to promote the development of new and emerging technologies for the production of advanced biofuels.

The program provides loan guarantees for the development, construction, and retrofitting of viable commercial-scale biorefineries producing advanced biofuels. The maximum loan guarantee is $250 million per project subject to the availability of funds. Preference will be given to projects where first-of-a-kind technology will be deployed on a commercial scale. Advanced biofuels are defined as fuels that do not rely on corn kernel starch as the feedstock.

The program will create energy-related jobs in rural America and encourage economic development, along with promoting resource conservation and diversifying markets for agricultural and forestry products, including agricultural waste materials.