US federal agencies to award $620m for biorefinery projects

04 December 2009 17:46  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Two US agencies said on Friday they will award nearly $620m (€409m) to develop and operate advanced biofuels projects.

The move would be a welcome one for the US biodiesel industry, which has long complained that the government has been sluggish to connect funds to new projects and slowing development of commercial-scale advanced biofuel refineries.

The Department of Energy (DOE) said it will award $564m from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to 19 biorefinery projects in 15 states. The projects include biofuels refineries and biomass-based power plants in the pilot and demonstration phases.

At the same time, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would provide up to $54.5m in loan guarantees to San Diego-based Sapphire Energy to demonstrate a process that would turn algae into jet fuel and diesel.

“These investments will help close the gap between production from the small number of biorefineries currently in operation and the aggressive renewable fuel standard goals for cellulosic and advanced biofuels,” the agencies said in the announcement.

The proposed standard calls for 2bn gal of advanced biofuels to be in the national fuel supply by 2012, up from 600m gal this year.

($1 = €0.66)

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By: Ben Lefebvre
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