USDA seeks public input on rule-making to implement the Biorefinery Assistance Program
United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced that applications are being accepted for loan guarantees under the Biorefinery Assistance Program (Section 9003), authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 ("the farm bill"). The Biorefinery Assistance Program is designed to promote the development of new and emerging technologies for the production of advanced biofuels. 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.
The Biorefinery Assistance Program provides loan guarantees for the development, construction and retrofitting of viable commercial-scale biorefineries producing advanced biofuels. The program provides $75 million in Fiscal Year 2009 and $245 million in Fiscal Year 2010 to provide loan guarantees not to exceed $250 million per project. 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.
To be considered for funding in the first half of Fiscal Year 2009, applications must be completed and submitted no later than December 31, 2008. To be considered for funding in the second half of Fiscal Year 2009, complete applications must be submitted between March 1, 2009, and April 30, 2009.
In addition to the announcement of program funds for this year, a notice has been published to invite comments on how to administer the program in future years.
For further details about eligibility rules and application procedures or information regarding how to submit comments, please contact Gregory J. Lynch at 608.283.2240, or another member of the Renewable Energy Group.
Additionally, further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.