Monday, January 19, 2009

Chambliss, Isakson Announce USDA Approval of $80 Million Loan for Georgia's First Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Ranking Republican Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved an $80 million loan to Range Fuels Inc., located in Soperton, Ga. The loan, administered by USDA Rural Development, comes from the Section 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program authorized by the 2008 farm bill.

“I am pleased to announce this funding for Georgia’s first cellulosic ethanol plant,” said Sen. Chambliss. “With projects like this one in Treutlen County we are getting one step closer to gaining energy independence from foreign sources of fuel. Today’s announcement is also a great boost for economic growth and job creation in our state. I thank Secretary Schafer for recognizing Georgia as a leader in the development of clean and efficient alternative fuel.”

"This is exactly the kind of project this country needs to move us toward energy independence, and I am very proud it's happening in our great state. Georgia is once again a leader on the cutting edge," Isakson said. "This significant investment from the administration to our state will also create jobs at a time when we really need them."

The Biorefinery Assistance Program provides loan guarantees to develop, construct and retrofit viable commercial-scale biorefineries producing advanced biofuels. The program is designed to create energy-related jobs and economic development in rural America. According to USDA Rural Development the loan to Range Fuels is approved subject to conditions.

The plant is expected to produce an estimated 63 jobs. When fully operational in 2010, the plant is expected to produce approximately 20 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year.

Additional information on rural programs is available online at USDA Rural Development’s web site at
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