USDA says Range Fuels, Incorporated, a Colorado based firm with a planned biorefinery located near Soperton, Georgia, is the recipient of a loan guaranteed by USDA Rural Development to make cellulosic biofuel from wood chips. The deal, recently finalized, was first announced last year and represents the first ever loan guarantee by USDA to a commercial-scale cellulosic biofuel plant.
The $80 million dollar loan is being guaranteed through USDA's Biorefinery Assistance Program authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 and administered by USDA Rural Development. When fully operational, the plant is expected to produce an estimated 20 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year.
Range Fuels' commercial facility will produce cellulosic biofuel from non-food biomass, such as wood chips. Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager says USDA's investment in the construction of Range Fuels' commercial facility demonstrates the Obama Administration's goal to make the United States a leader in renewable energy production.