Adminstration Offers Boost for Advanced Biofuels

Cindy Zimmerman

In addition to loan guarantees for biorefineries in the southeast, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Energy (DOE) announced other steps today designed to give the advanced biofuels industry a much-needed boost.

“With the renewable fuels standard goal, there’s going to be a need for additional biofuels and it must be met in large part by advanced biofuels,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack when making the announcement today.

Over 120 biofuel producers in 33 states will be receiving payments from USDA as incentives to produce advanced biofuels. Under the Farm Bill, the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels authorizes payments to eligible producers to expand production and use of advanced biofuels.

Payments, which range from less than $500 to over $1 million, are based on the amount of advanced biofuels a recipient produces from renewable biomass, other than corn kernel starch. Eligible examples include biofuels derived from cellulose, crop residue, animal, food and yard waste material, biogas (landfill and sewage waste treatment gas), vegetable oil and animal fat. The producers receiving payments include a significant number of biodiesel plants, since biodiesel is considered an advanced biofuel.

Meanwhile, the DOE is offering a $241 million loan guarantee Diamond Green Diesel – a proposed joint venture between Valero Energy Corporation and Darling International Inc. The loan guarantee will support the construction of a 137-million gallon per year renewable diesel facility in Norco, Louisiana, about 20 miles west of New Orleans. Valero Energy Corporation plans to direct the design, construction and operation of the project and market all of its output, while Darling International Inc. will supply feedstock to the project.

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