by Joseph Baker, August 19, 2011
INEOS Bio announced that financing has been finalized for its Indian River BioEnergy Center biofuel refinery.
The facility, which is being developed by INEOS Bio and partner New Planet Energy under the joint venture INEOS New Planet BioEnergy (INPB), will be the first commercial scale waste to biofuel facility in the United States.
In January 2011, INPB was granted a $75 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support development and construction of the BioEnergy Center. Now, eight months later, the company has secured private loans backed by the loan guarantee. With this announcement INPB says it has the funding needed to complete the project.
"We want to commend the USDA on its partnership with us in advancing this bioenergy technology and making it commercially available,” said Peter Williams, CEO of INEOS Bio and Chairman of INPB.
With the loan guarantee in hand INPB began constructing the plant in February. The company reports that construction is 20 percent complete and is on schedule to be finished April 2012. Located in Vero Beach, Florida, the facility will convert agricultural, construction, municipal and forestry waste into eight million gallons of advanced biofuels and six megawatts of renewable energy.
Last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack toured the facility and said, "This cutting-edge facility in Florida, represents the kind of innovation we need to continue to build a competitively-priced, American-made, homegrown biofuels industry that helps to break our dependence on foreign oil and moves our nation toward a clean energy economy.”
Just days after this visit the USDA, along with the Departments of Energy (DOE) and Navy (DON), announced a new jointly developed biofuel initiative. As part of the initiative each Department will invest $170 million over the next three years to construct or retrofit drop-in biofuel plants and refineries to produce bio-based jet and diesel fuels.
Fellow biofuel developer Texas-based Terrabon Inc. announced [pdf] its support of the Obama Administration investment in drop-in biofuel development. The company's patented MixAlco bio-refining technology converts non-food, and non-sterile biomass (municipal solid waste, sewage sludge, forest product residues non-edible energy crops) into wide array of chemicals and alcohols that can be refined to produce renewable gasoline, jet fuel or diesel. The company claims fuel produced from MixAlco has a higher energy value than ethanol.
Terrabon, which was recently granted federal funds from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), applauded the new drop-in biofuel funding but also voiced concern with logistics surrounding funding coming from three federal agencies.
Gary Luce, Terrabon CEO, said: “This announcement does come with its own set of challenges as Terrabon and other companies within our market will have to determine a realistic and effective manner of working within the complexities of three federal agencies while ensuring economics are guiding the process, not politics. That said, we are very excited about the industry investment and support the administration’s desire to create innovative and cost-effective biofuel technologies that produce green transportation fuels.”
Image Credit: tartaruga33 via Flickr
This is a cross-post from EnergyBoom.com.
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Original Post: http://www.energyboom.com/biofuels/biofuel-developers-using-federal-backing-move-forward