USDA agrees to conditional $70 million loan for Georgia plant

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced yesterday it has agreed to a conditional commitment of a $70 million loan guarantee for the building of a cellulosic biorefinery in Georgia as part of the Biorefinery Assistance Program.

"There is a clear consumer demand for clean, American-made, renewable fuels, which our rural communities stand ready to meet," USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "USDA is proud to support environmentally and technologically sound projects like this one, which will increase biofuel availability nationwide and create jobs in rural Georgia. This loan commitment is the most recent example of our support for President Obama's 'all-of-the-above' energy strategy, which includes alternative and renewable fuel sources.

The refinery will be built by Ensyn Georgia Biorefinery I LLC and has a goal to produce 20 million gallons of renewable fuel every year through its Rapid Thermal Processing technology, which converts non-food-based feedstocks into bio-based fuels.

The USDA has been trying to grow the bio-based industry. It has realized that one bio-based products industry job generates 1.64 jobs in other industries. In 2013, 1.5 million jobs directly supported the industry while 1.1 additional jobs indirectly supported the industry; this resulted in an extra $369 billion to the U.S. economy.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture

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