BlueFire Renewables receives LOI to provide debt financing for a US bioenergy project
Renewable fuels company BlueFire Renewables has received a letter of intent (LOI) from the Export Import Bank of China (China EXIM) to provide up to $270 million (€212.7 million) in debt financing for its bioenergy project in Fulton, Mississippi.
'There are significant opportunities for replicating the BlueFire Fulton size or larger facilities in China and the US to deal with problematic agricultural and urban waste currently being burned or buried,' says Arnold Klann, CEO of BlueFire Renewables. 'Debt financing has been the most difficult part of the financing to obtain for the cellulosic biofuels industry.'
The LOI continues the international collaboration between the US and China initiated by BlueFure. 'Combining the already announced engineering and project management contract with China Three Gorges, which is China's largest utility, and now the addition of funding intended by the China EXIM bank, both countries can work on the sustainable production of renewable fuels and chemicals while promoting jobs and the use of domestic and readily available biomass resources,' Klann continues.
With loan guarantee programmes offered by US federal agencies (the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture) not structured for small businesses, the BlueFire/China EXIM framework with major Chinese companies will open the door for more businesses in the US to finance and build projects, not only in the US, but also in China.
The companies will continue to work together to complete the standard due diligence procedures of the China EXIM bank and meet all credit criteria and condition precedent to reach definitive agreements in order to complete the financing as soon as possible. Once completed, China Three Gorges and its US subcontractors will begin construction of the Fulton Project.
The Fulton project will utilise green and wood wastes available in the region as feedstock for the ethanol plant that is designed to produce approximately 19 million gallons of ethanol per year.