BlueFire Ethanol Applies for DOE Loan Guarantee for Fulton Biorefinery

BlueFire Ethanol Fuels Inc. has submitted an application for a US $250 million dollar loan guarantee for the company’s planned cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in Fulton, Mississippi. The application, filed under the Department of Energy (DOE) Program DE-FOA-0000140, which provides federal loan guarantees for projects that employ innovative energy efficiency, renewable energy, and advanced transmission and distribution technologies, was submitted on February 15 and is the first phase of a two phase process.

The Fulton plant is already a recipient of an award of up to $88 million from DOE under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

If approved, the loan guarantee will secure the financing for the remainder of the costs to construct the facility, which will produce 19 million gallons of ethanol per year from woody biomass, mill residue, and other cellulosic waste.

“We are very optimistic that the DOE will consider the enormous benefits of BlueFire Ethanol’s technology to convert cellulosic waste products into useable biofuels during this selection process,” said Arnold Klann, CEO of BlueFire Ethanol. “Programs like the DOE loan guarantee enable first-of-its-kind technologies to come to fruiting and ultimately help ease the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels like petroleum, which is oftentimes imported from hostile nations.”

Currently, BlueFire Ethanol is focused on the development of two cellulosic ethanol facilities in Lancaster, California and Fulton.

The fully-permitted and shovel-ready Lancaster facility, BlueFire’s first U.S. commercial plant, will use post-sorted cellulosic wastes diverted from Southern California’s landfills to produce approximately 3.9 million gallons of fuel-grade ethanol per year.

BlueFire is in the detailed engineering phase and expects to have all necessary permits for its second commercial plant in Missippi by this summer, putting the company on a path to commence construction by the end of 2010.

These two planned facilities will create more than 1,000 construction jobs and, once in operation, more than 100 new operations and maintenance jobs. This is in addition to the hundreds of jobs created or maintained at equipment vendors and suppliers.

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