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Publication

May 21, 2007Client Alert

U.S. Department of Energy Announces $200 Million in New Financing for Cellulosic Biomass Projects

Purpose/Opportunity

This funding opportunity is open to applicants with projects that may include research and development to design, construct, and operate a one-tenth scale biorefinery facility that would be a prototype of a full-scale commercial operation. The grant aims to lower the technical risk associated with financing commercial plants. Demonstration plants should be operable within three years with commercial plants to follow "shortly." Applicants are requested to design, construct, build, operate, and validate an integrated biorefinery employing terrestrial ligniocellulosic feed stocks for the production of some combination of: (i) liquid transportation fuels; (ii) biobased chemicals; and (iii) substitutes for petroleum base feed stocks. Economic projections must be provided and municipal solid waste is not eligible as a feed stock but biomass segregated from municipal solid waste might be eligible.

Awards

DOE anticipates that awards will be in the $10-$30 million range for the total project period, and the expected number of awards is five to 10.

Requirements

Applicants for this grant must meet requirements for successful projects given in EPAct 2005, Section 932 with respect to feedstocks, and must be in compliance with Office of Biomass Program Policy. In addition, applications must meet all three of the following requirements to be eligible for consideration: (i) the mass of biomass feedstock throughput is at least 70 dry metric tonnes per day, or a minimum of 1.5 million gallons per year of biofuel must be produced; and, (ii) transportation biofuels must be the primary product and are limited to ethanol, biodiesel, biobutanol, or any fungible replacement for gasoline or diesel as a transportation fuel produced from terrestrial lignocellulosics; and, (iii) the proposed feedstock must have an ultimate sustainable potential of at least 100 million dry metric tonnes of biomass per year. Alternatively, the proposed technology must be shown to have the ability to convert a variety of terrestrial lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks that together represent a total sustainable potential of at least 100 million dry metric tonnes of biomass per year.

Key Dates

Key dates regarding the funding opportunity include the following:

  1. applicants must have a CCR and a DUNS number and complete a one-time registration process (all steps) before you can submit your first application;
  2. applicants must submit a letter of intent by May 29, 2007;
  3. applications must be received by August 14, 2007, 11:59 pm Eastern Time;
  4. DOE anticipates notifying applicants selected for award by February 6, 2008 and making awards by May 9, 2008.

View a copy of the complete DOE announcement

For more information, please contact either Gregory J. Lynch at gjlynch@michaelbest.com or 608.283.2240, or Laura Riske, Director of Government Affairs at llriske@michaelbest.com or 608.283.2265.

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