Cellulosic ethanol company Range Fuels, Inc. announced that it has received a loan note guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and closed its related $80 million bond issuance.
The proceeds from the $80 million bond will be used to partially finance the first two phases of construction of Range Fuels’ first commercial plant near Soperton, Georgia. The first phase is scheduled to be mechanically complete this month, with production scheduled to commence in the second quarter of this year.
A conditional commitment to provide the loan note guarantee was first announced last year and represents the first ever loan guarantee by USDA to a commercial-scale cellulosic biofuel plant.
AgSouth Farm Credit will provide the loan to Range Fuels, Inc., which will be guaranteed through USDA’s Biorefinery Assistance Program.
The Biorefinery Assistance Program, authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill, provides loan guarantees for commercial-scale biorefineries and grants for demonstration-scale biorefineries that produce advanced biofuels or any fuel that is not corn-based.
This project is expected to provide biofuels jobs, construction jobs and support the timber industry.
Range Fuels uses a proprietary two-step thermo-chemical process to convert biomass, such as wood chips, switchgrass, corn stover, sugarcane bagasse and olive pits to cellulosic biofuels and clean renewable power. Khosla Ventures is a primary investor in the company.