Fulcrum selected for USDA loan guarantee

Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels, a sustainable fuels company, will receive a loan from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the construction of waste-to-jet fuel facility.

The USDA is to award a $105 million (€81.5 million) Biorefinery Assistance Program loan guarantee to Fulcrum, which the company will use to build a biorefinery in Nevada, US. The new facility, which will require a total investment of $266 million, will convert municipal solid waste (MSW) into biodiesel jet fuel.

The plant is expected to produce 11 million gallons of fuel annually. Fulcrum will produce synthesis gas from 147,000 tonnes of MSW and catalytically convert it to synthetic paraffinic kerosene/jet fuel through a proprietary technology.

This is the first loan guarantee the USDA has made for the production of bio-jet fuel.

Secretary of the USDA, Tom Vilsack, says: 'This represents a huge step forward in the development of clean, renewable, job-creating American fuels. The energy age that will make us more energy independent, cut carbon pollution and strengthen our economy, especially in rural communities where clean fuels will be produced.'

The plant will be the first of what Fulcrum expects to be several bio-jet fuel plants throughout the US.

Last month, Cathay Pacific Airways announced that it is investing in Fulcrum Bioenergy, the parent company of Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels, and has negotiated a long-term supply agreement with Fulcrum for 375 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel over 10 years. This would represent about 2% of the airline's annual fuel consumption.

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