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USDA loan guarantee to algae biofuel in New Mexico

The US Department of Agriculture has announced a loan guarantee for Sapphire Energy Inc's US$135 million algae biofuel project in Columbus, NM, USA.

By Kari Williamson

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, says: "This project represents another step in the effort to assist the nation's advanced biofuel industry produce energy in commercial quantities from sustainable rural resources."

Sapphire Energy intends to design, build and operate an integrated algal biorefinery (IABR) in Columbus to produce biofuel that can serve as a 'drop-in' replacement for petroleum derived diesel and jet fuel.

The IABR will be capable of producing 100 barrels of refined algal oil per day, equivalent to around 1 million gallons per year. The oil will be shipped to the United States Gulf Coast to be refined by Sapphire's refinery partner, Dynamic Fuels, located in Geismar, LA.

The funding is provided through USDA's Biorefinery Assistance Program.

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