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  • Are cellulosic biofuels set to compete with oil?
    The unpredictable price of oil is slowly changing industry and public sentiment in favour of bio-based energy. Especially in the USA. But before the biofuels market can fully commercialise, the public sector needs to clarify its goals. Jim Imbler, President and CEO of ZeaChem (a company active in the development of cellulosic ethanol), reports.


ZeaChem gets US$232.5m loan guarantee for cellulosic biorefinery

ZeaChem Inc has been selected for a US$232.5 million loan guarantee from the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program, for its first commercial-scale cellulosic biorefinery.

By Kari Williamson

Development of the cellulosic biorefinery is already underway, and the facility is expected to have capacity of 25 million or more gallons-per-year.

It will be located at the Port of Morrow in Boardman, Oregon, adjacent to ZeaChem’s 250,000 GPY integrated demonstration biorefinery.

ZeaChem already has agreements for all of the facility’s woody biomass feedstock from the nearby GreenWood Tree Farm Fund (GTFF), managed by GreenWood Resources (GWR), as well as from local agricultural residue processors.

ZeaChem cellulosic biorefinery could create 188 direct construction jobs and 65 full-time operations jobs, plus an additional 242 indirect jobs for construction and full-time operations.

“The USDA loan guarantee is a significant validation for ZeaChem’s highly efficient, economical and flexible biorefinery technology,” says Jim Imbler, President and CEO of ZeaChem.

“This commitment allows us to move forward with securing financing, beginning construction, creating jobs in the community, and producing economical and sustainable products for the fuel and chemical industries.”

Jim Imbler has previously written an article for Renewable Energy Focus on the viability of cellulosic biofuels.

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