USDA to Help Finance New Farm Waste Biorefinery in Oregon

PORTLAND, Oregon – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Lisa Mensah joined Sen. Jeff Merkley in Oregon today to pledge their support for a new biorefinery in the state.

“USDA is proud to support innovative, biobased projects such as this one,” Mensah said. “This biorefinery will spur economic development, create new jobs and provide new markets for farm commodities in rural Oregon.”

Novus Energy, LLC plans to build a biorefinery in Boardman, Ore., to process agricultural waste into fuel, natural gas, organic fertilizer and other biobased products. Novus will use waste from onion and potato processing plants, dairy manure, seasonal plant by-products and other waste supplied by local growers and processors as the primary feedstock.

USDA has reserved funds to support the project with an $11 million loan guarantee through the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program.

Novus is working with an Oregon lender, Old West Federal Credit Union, to finance the project. USDA hopes to finalize loan terms with Novus and Old West by summer. The total cost for the plant is expected to be $20.2 million.

The biorefinery will be built on land owned by the Port of Morrow, one of the largest ports in Oregon. It is located near large organic and traditional farms and is home to 10 major food producers. Novus expects to hire up to 10 people to operate and maintain the plant and indirectly create another 15-20 support jobs.

Daily, the plant is expected to generate 3.8 million cubic feet of renewable natural gas, 350 gallons of liquid fertilizer, and 11.2 tons of material that can improve soil physically or chemically to make it more suitable for plant growth.

The plant will return approximately 172,000 gallons of treated water to the Port of Morrow daily.

Today’s agreement is the most recent example of USDA’s support in helping grow the biobased economy and helping U.S. companies better compete in a rapidly growing, global, renewable chemicals market.

Since the start of the Obama Administration, USDA has invested $765 million in nine biorefineries that have produced 150.1 million gallons of advanced biofuels. USDA has financed projects in Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and Oregon. Additionally, since the beginning of the Administration, USDA Rural Development has invested nearly $24 million in 413 renewable energy projects in Oregon.

Congress established the Biorefinery program in 2008 and expanded it in the 2014 Farm Bill to include renewable chemicals and biobased product manufacturing. The program provides guarantees for loans by commercial lenders to fund the development of biorefineries to produce advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals and biobased products.

USDA is accepting applications for loan guarantees under the program. For more information, contact the USDA Rural Development Energy Division, (202) 720-0410 or at energydivision (at) wdc.usda (dot) gov.

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.

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