Biorefinery Assistance

To assist in the development of new and emerging technologies for the development of advanced biofuels, so as to: (1) increase the energy independence of the United States; (2) promote resource conservation, public health, and the environment; (3) diversify markets for agricultural and forestry products
and agriculture waste material; and (4) create jobs and enhance the economic development of the rural economy.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Loan guarantees are made to fund the development, construction, and retrofitting of commercial-scale biorefineries using eligible technology.

The maximum loan guarantee is $250 million.

Mandatory funding is available through FY 2012.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible technologies under the program include: (A) technology that is being adopted in a viable commercial-scale operation of a biorefinery that produces an advanced biofuel; and (B) technology not described in subparagraph (A) that has been demonstrated to have technical and economic potential for commercial application in a biorefinery that produces an advanced biofuel.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Eligible entities under the program include: individuals, entities, Indian tribes, or units of State or local government, including corporations, farm cooperatives, farmer cooperative organizations, associations of agricultural producers, National Laboratories, institutions of higher education, rural electric cooperatives, public power entities, or consortia of any of those entities.


No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is subject to environmental review pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969.

An environmental impact statement is required for this program.

An environmental impact assessment is required for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. Submit an original completed application with two copies to USDA s Rural Development National Office: Energy Branch, Attention: BioRefinery Assistance Program, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, STOP 3225, Washington, DC, 20250-3225.

Award Procedures

Based on a review of the application, the project must have eligible and have technical merit. Projects determined by the Agency to be without technical merit will not be selected for funding. The Agency will score each application in order to prioritize each proposed project. The evaluation criteria that the Agency will use to score these projects are: Whether the borrower has established a market for the advanced biofuel and the byproducts produced. Whether the area in which the borrower proposes to place the biorefinery has other similar advanced biofuel facilities. Whether the borrower is proposing to use a feedstock not previously used in the production of advanced biofuels. Whether the borrower is proposing to work with producer associations or cooperatives. The level of financial participation by the borrower, including support from non-Federal and private sources. Whether the borrower has established that the adoption of the process proposed in the application will have a positive impact on resource conservation, public health, and the environment.Whether the borrower can establish that, if adopted, the biofuels production technology proposed in the application will not have any significant negative impacts on existing manufacturing plants or other facilities that use similar feedstocks.The potential for rural economic development, including the number of local jobs created and inclusion of local banks or other capital sources in any proposed debt syndication. The level of local ownership proposed in the application. Whether the project can be replicated.The extent to which the project converts cellulosic biomass feedstocks into advanced biofuel. Whether the project is a first-of-a-kind technology, system, or process.


Nov 18, 2009: To be considered for funding in the first half of Fiscal Year 2009, applications must be completed and submitted to the USDA Rural Development National Office by December 31, 2008. To be considered for funding in the second half of Fiscal Year 2009, complete applications must be submitted to the USDA Rural Development National Office between March 1, 2009, and April 30, 2009.


Title IX of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8101 et seq.) is amended by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, Title IX, section 9001, subsection 9003.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approval is subject to the completion of all requirements identified in the Notice of Funding Availability.


An applicant may have review or appeal rights in accordance with
7 CFR Part 11.


Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.
Matching Requirements: Applicants must identify all sources, amounts, and status of matching funds. Borrowers shall demonstrate evidence of cash equity injection in the project of not less than 20 percent of eligible project costs.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Notice of Funding Availability is applicable for one fiscal year, 2009. Anticipate the publication of regulations in fiscal year 2010. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements


Once the project has been constructed, the lender must provide the Agency periodic reports from the borrower commencing the first full calendar year following the year in which project construction was completed and continuing for the life of the guaranteed loan.

The borrower s reports will include, but not be limited to, the information specified in the following paragraphs, as applicable.(i) The actual amount of advanced biofuels produced to assess whether project goals are being met.(ii) If applicable, documentation that identified health and/or sanitation problem has been solved.(iii) A summary of the cost of operating and maintaining the facility