USDA gives Aemetis $125M, 20-year loan guarantee for Riverbank Biorefinery

February 17, 2019 |

In California, the USDA issued a Conditional Commitment under the 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program to guarantee a $125 million, 20-year loan to the Aemetis cellulosic ethanol plant to be built in Riverbank, California. The Riverbank plant is designed to convert orchard, forest and other biomass waste into cellulosic ethanol with below zero carbon emissions. Earlier this month, The Digest reported on the project here.

Following Phase I approval for a loan guarantee from the USDA in late 2016, Aemetis invested more than $10 million to build and operate an integrated demonstration plant, obtained an independent engineering review, secured the Riverbank site, signed an ethanol offtake agreement, entered into a 20-year fixed-price feedstock supply agreement, completed preliminary engineering, and obtained necessary environmental approvals in order to complete the requirements for the issuance of the USDA Conditional Commitment.

“The Aemetis Riverbank project is needed to meet the mandates set forth in the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard to improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, expand domestic employment, reduce dependence on imported crude oil and attract investment into U.S. industrial projects,” said Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis. “This USDA loan guarantee supports the conversion of waste orchard, forest and other biomass in California into clean, low carbon biofuels, launching the first phase of four Aemetis cellulosic biofuels plants planned in the Central Valley.”

Preliminary engineering has been completed and construction of the Riverbank plant is expected to begin in mid-2019.

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