Loan Guarentee Process Holds Up First Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

Cindy Zimmerman

Iogen Back in June, Canadian biotechnology company Iogen was waiting on loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a $500 million cellulosic ethanol plant in Idaho.

The company is still waiting, according to a report from McLatchey Newspapers.

According to the article, the loan guarentee is being held up because the U.S. Department of Energy office in charge of the process has only one employee and there’s no money to hire more staff to deal with the more than 100 applications that have been submitted so far.

Congress authorized the Department of Energy to back loans for new energy technologies “a year and a half ago,” said Jeff Passmore, Iogen’s executive vice president, “and we still don’t have a loan guarantee initiative up and running. That’s disappointing.”

The company has everything in place to break ground in Shelley, about 10 miles from Idaho Falls, including equity from such investors as Shell Oil. But it can’t close on an approximately $200 million loan without a government-backed loan guarantee.

Cellulosic, Ethanol, Government, News