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Fulcrum Bioenergy project awarded USDA loan guarantee

Second generation ethanol producer Fulcrum BioEnergy has been awarded a $105 million (€85 million) loan guarantee from the US Department of Agriculture.

The finalisation of the loan guarantee, which was awarded to the company's Sierra BioFuels Plant to be built in Storey County in Nevada, US, means Fulcrum will secure bank financing. This, combined with Fulcrum's private equity capital, will fully fund construction of the MSW-to-biofuel plant.

When the plant is built it will produce 10 million gallons a year of ethanol from household waste, in addition to renewable energy that will be consumed during the process. It will employ around 430 engineers during the construction phase, and create 53 full-time jobs when the plant becomes operational.

'The USDA loan guarantee provides a key piece of financing to move our Sierra BioFuels project forward,' says E. James Macias, president and CEO of Fulcrum BioEnergy.

'It allows us to secure private bank financing at reasonable prices and with favourable terms. This is a real example of how USDA's Rural Development Program helps bring new and innovative technologies and jobs to some of the areas hardest hit by the economic downturn,' Macias adds.

Fulcrum has secured long-term MSW feedstock contracts and an ethanol off-take contract for the Sierra plant. It is now in the final stages of completing engineering work on the project and will break ground when the loan guarantee is finalised and the financing is secured.