ZeaChem Inc., a developer of biorefineries for the conversion of renewable biomass into sustainable fuels and chemicals, recently announced it has been selected for a $232.5 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program. The conditional commitment enables the financing and construction of ZeaChem’s first commercial-scale cellulosic biorefinery, a state-of-the-art plant that will produce bio-based fuels and chemicals from woody biomass and agricultural residues with the highest yield, lowest capital cost and lowest carbon footprint in the industry.
“Advanced biofuels are critical to securing America’s energy future,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This project, and others like it will help establish a domestic advanced biofuel industry that will create jobs here at home and open new markets in the Pacific Northwest and across America.”
Development of the first commercial biorefinery is already underway. The facility is expected to have capacity of 25 million or more gallons-per-year (GPY). It will be located at the Port of Morrow in Boardman, Ore., adjacent to ZeaChem’s 250,000 GPY integrated demonstration biorefinery. ZeaChem has agreements for 100% of the facility’s woody biomass feedstock from the nearby GreenWood Tree Farm Fund (GTFF), managed by GreenWood Resources (GWR), as well as from local agricultural residue processors.
ZeaChem’s first commercial facility will create 188 direct construction jobs and 65 full-time operations jobs, plus an additional 242 indirect jobs for construction and full-time operations.
“The USDA loan guarantee is a significant validation for ZeaChem’s highly efficient, economical and flexible biorefinery technology,” said Jim Imbler, president and chief executive officer of ZeaChem. “This commitment allows us to move forward with securing financing, beginning construction, creating jobs in the community, and producing economical and sustainable products for the fuel and chemical industries.”Tags: bio-based fuels, biofuels, Biorefinery Assistance Program, cellulosic biorefinery, GreenWood Resources, GreenWood Tree Farm Fund, Jim Imbler, Port of Morrow, Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA, Zeachem