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KiOR finds buyer for its Columbus renewable oil

Located in Texas, US, biofuel company KiOR, which is building three plants in Mississippi, has found a buyer for its renewable oil that will be produced at its Columbus-based facility, due to begin operations in 2012.

Tuscaloosa's Hunt Refining, a petroleum refining company, will purchase the renewable crude oil, converted from wood chips.

'The announcement is an important milestone for the development of our commercial facilities in Mississippi and further KiOR's progress towards the commercialisation of gasoline and diesel blendstocks from renewable crude,' states KiOR's president and CEO Fred Cannon.

KiOR's three construction projects, planned for Columbus, Newton and an unidentified location in southwest Mississippi, are said to be costing the company $500 million (€353 million).

The state will award the company with $75 million for partnering with Hunt Refining. According to the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), the three plants could increase Mississippi's gross product by one-tenth of a percent. Melissa Medley from the MDA acknowledges that this amount is significant for one company.

And in addition to this $75 million, KiOR has been issued with a loan guarantee term sheet from the US Department of Energy (DoE). If approved, the loan could increase the development of both the Newton and the unidentified plants, expected to open in 2015. The loan does not apply to KiOR's Columbus plant, however.

According to a KiOR spokesperson, the company is currently discussing a final loan guarantee with the DoE.