AEC Member Company to Build Commercial-Scale Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefinery in Boardman, Oregon
Washington DC – ZeaChem, Inc., a developer of biorefineries for the conversion of renewable biomass into sustainable fuels and chemicals, announced today that it has been selected for a $232.5 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program.
In a statement released today, ZeaChem president and chief executive officer Jim Imbler called the award “a significant validation for ZeaChem’s highly efficient, economical and flexible biorefinery technology,” and detailed the company’s ongoing development of a 25 million gallon per year commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol production facility adjacent to its demonstration plant in Boardman, Oregon. The facility will produce advanced ethanol and bio-chemicals from woody biomass and agricultural residues.
“This is a very exciting and innovative project and we are very pleased to see ZeaChem moving into the commercial stages of cellulosic ethanol production,” said Brooke Coleman, Executive Director of the Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC). “The advanced and cellulosic ethanol industry is breaking through in a challenging financial climate, which speaks to the evolution of the technology and the value proposition offered by the most innovative liquid fuel and chemical producers in the world.”
In a statement, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack called the ZeaChem project and others like it “critical to ensuring America’s energy future.” The USDA loan guarantee program, which helps advanced biorefining projects attract capital and reduce the initial risk of deploying new technologies, remains critical to the advancement of the cellulosic ethanol industry in the United States.
“Secretary Vilsack and the USDA clearly understand the urgency with which this country needs to develop cleaner and more secure sources of energy,” added Coleman. “These programs and USDA’s leadership are critical to our efforts to develop the advanced ethanol industry and ensure that the U.S. emerges as the global leader in the development of advanced biofuels and bio-products.”
The AEC is the only advanced biofuel group with the singular purpose of promoting advanced ethanol fuels and technologies. Twelve member companies make up the AEC including, Abengoa Bioenergy, Beta Renewables, BlueFire Renewables, Coskata, Enerkem, Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inbicon, Iogen, Mascoma, Osage BioEnergy, Qteros and ZeaChem.