Posted October 23, 2013
Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, announced the availability of $181 million to develop commercial-scale biorefineries or retrofit existing facilities for advanced biofuels.  According to the news release, available here, the announcement is part of USDA’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
The Biorefinery Assistance Program was created through the 2008 farm bill and is administered by USDA Rural Development.  The program provides loan guarantees to viable commercial-scale facilities to develop new and emerging technologies for biofuels.
Vilsack said, “This financing will expand the number of commercial biorefineries in operation in the U.S. that are producing advanced biofuels from non-food sources…USDA’s Biorefinery Assistance Program is yet another way USDA is helping to carry out the Obama Administration’s ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy to develop every possible source of American-made energy…These biorefineries are also creating lasting job opportunities in rural America and are boosting the rural economy as well.”
The Advanced Biofuels Association lists more than 200 plants, including biodiesel makers, according to a Reuters article available here.  Valero Inc. and Darling International partnered to open a plant in June, which is set to produce 137 million gallons of renewable diesel fuel a year. 
Michael McAdams, head of the biofuels trade group, said the offer of loan guarantees would be “incredibly helpful” to smaller companies that want to expand production.


For more information on biofuels, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s Renewable Energy reading room available here.