INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – INEOS Bio and its joint venture partner, New Planet Energy, have received a conditional commitment for a $75 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biorefinery Assistance Program.
Funds will be used for the construction of the world’s first INEOS BioEnergy Center, which is being build at the former Ocean Spray factory in Indian River County.
The BioEnergy Center expects to produce 8 million gallons of advanced biofuel per year together with six megawatts of renewable power from biomass including yard, vegetative and wood wastes and municipal solid waste.
Financing from the USDA program is provided to advance the next generation bioenergy technologies into the commercial sector.
“We are encouraged by the continued confidence and commitment the U.S. Government has shown in assisting with the commercial development of this new bioenergy technology,” said Peter Williams, CEO of INEOS Bio and Chairman of INEOS New Planet BioEnergy. “These programs are providing the funds needed to enable the U.S. to achieve a leading position in the bioenergy sector through projects such as ours. As well as directly assisting construction of the INEOS New Planet BioEnergy commercial plant, the loan guarantee also represents an important step along the road to replication of this exciting new technology through INEOS Bio’s licensing program.”
The USDA 9003 program provides guaranteed loans for the development and construction of commercial-scale biorefineries or for the retrofitting of existing facilities using eligible technology for the development of advanced biofuels.
Site preparation and construction are underway at the BioEnergy Center, which has created 55 new jobs to date, according to INEOS officials.
The BioEnergy Center, slated to begin production in 2012, is anticipated to provide175 jobs during construction and 50 full-time jobs once the facility is completed.
The heart of the INEOS Bio technology is a patented anaerobic fermentation step, through which naturally occurring bacteria convert gases derived directly from biomass into ethanol.
Unlike other technologies that rely on one primary source of feedstock, the INEOS Bio process can produce ethanol and renewable energy from numerous feedstocks, including construction waste, municipal solid waste and forestry and agricultural waste, while breaking the link between food crops and ethanol production.
The flexibility allows facilities, like the Florida BioEnergy Center, to be built anywhere in the world, wherever there is biomass waste, providing jobs and locally sourced renewable energy for urban and rural communities.