USDA loan guarantees for biorefineries will help advanced biofuel pioneers build commercial-scale facilities, paving the way for additional industry investments. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today thanked Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for his leadership on biofuels commercialization and for announcing the funding of new biorefinery projects under the 2008 Farm Bill's Biorefinery Assistance Program (Section 9003) and funding to recipients in 33 states to support the production and use of advanced biofuels. BIO also congratulates its member companies --Coskata, Inc. of Warrenville, Ohio and INEOS Bio of Vero Beach, Fla. -- that received loan guarantees.


Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO's Industrial & Environmental Section, stated, "Federal partnerships such the USDA Biorefinery Assistance Program will help provide institutional investors the certainty they need to back technology pioneers in building biorefineries for advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, and biobased products. The United States can reduce reliance on foreign oil, enhance both our energy and national security, and jumpstart economic growth through production of biofuels and biobased products that directly displace imported oil. More than 65 planned and operating projects in 30 states are looking to build an advanced biofuels and biobased products industry, creating jobs and investment opportunities for industry, rural growers, and research institutions.


"The USDA's Biorefinery Assistance Program is being deployed to demonstrate the viability of commercial-scale biorefineries in diverse areas of the country, utilizing local biomass resources. Growing biomass for biorefineries can produce hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity, primarily in rural areas where economic development is greatly needed. This announcement can help the United States maintain its leadership in developing a biobased economy, using renewable resources for energy, fuels, chemicals and materials."


Coskata Inc. received a $250 million conditional loan guarantee to build a 60 million gallon cellulosic biofuel and renewable chemical facility in rural Alabama that will use wood waste. It is expected to generate 300 construction jobs and 700 direct and indirect jobs. INEOS New Planet Bioenergy received a conditional $75 million loan guarantee to build an 8 million gallon advanced biofuel biorefinery in Vero Beach, Fla., that will use municipal solid waste and wood waste. It is anticipated to provide 175 jobs during construction and 50 full-time jobs.


Erickson continued, "BIO congratulates its member companies who were selected and looks forward to the successful implementation of these projects."


Converting biomass into fuels, energy, and chemicals has the potential to generate upwards of $230 billion to the global economy by 2020, according to the World Economic Forum. A recent report by BIO, U.S. Economic Impact of Advanced Biofuels Production, projects that development of advanced biorefineries could create tens of thousands of jobs over the next few years and hundreds of thousands by 2030, contributing more than $140 billion in economic growth. The study also shows that advanced biofuel production could save a total of $350 billion in oil imports between now and 2022. Further, BIO's white paper, Biobased Chemicals and Products: A New Driver of U.S. Economic Development and Green Jobs, shows that projected growth in the biobased chemicals and plastics industry, which are also produced in advanced biorefineries, can create thousands more jobs.


For copies of Biobased Chemicals and Products: A New Driver of U.S. Economic Development and Green Jobs or U.S. Economic Impact of Advanced Biofuels Production, please contact Paul Winters at pwinters@bio.org or 202-962-9237, or visit http://BIO.org/ind/.