Range Fuels, Inc., a company focused on commercially producing low-carbon biofuels and clean renewable power, announced that it had received a loan note guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and closed its related $80 million bond issuance. The proceeds from the $80 million bond will be used to partially finance the first two phases of construction of Range Fuels’ first commercial cellulosic biofuels plant using renewable and sustainable supplies of non-food biomass near Soperton, Georgia. The first phase is scheduled to be mechanically complete this month, with production scheduled to commence in the second quarter of this year.
The loan guarantee is the result of efforts between the USDA Office of Rural Development, AgSouth Farm Credit, ACA and Range Fuels. AgSouth Farm Credit, ACA, a leader in agricultural and rural loans and part of the Farm Credit System, was the lead lender on the loan, and Silicon Valley Bank and Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc. helped facilitate the financing of this bond transaction. A conditional commitment to provide this loan note guarantee was first issued by the USDA on January 16, 2009. The issuance of the loan note guarantee demonstrates Range Fuels’ compliance with the Agency’s conditions and successful structuring of the supporting financing.
“We are especially pleased that the USDA has delivered on the Administration’s efforts to promote the commercialization and increased use of cellulosic biofuels by awarding Range Fuels the loan guarantee,” said David Aldous, Range Fuels’ CEO. “The collaborative effort between Range Fuels, the USDA and AgSouth Farm Credit, and also Silicon Valley Bank and Morgan Keegan, to execute the first ever loan note guarantee under the Agency’s Section 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program will contribute to the successful completion and operation of the first phase of our Soperton Plant and expansion of the facility.”
“USDA’s investment in the construction of Range Fuels’ commercial facility, which will produce cellulosic biofuels from non-food biomass, such as wood chips, demonstrates the Obama Administration’s goal to make the United States a leader in renewable energy production and furthers the President’s ongoing efforts to bring jobs to rural communities,” said Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager. “USDA is proud to work with the lender and the private sector to bring economic opportunity to rural areas."
The loan guarantee is a part of USDA’s Section 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill, which provides loan guarantees for commercial-scale biorefineries and grants for demonstration-scale biorefineries that produce advanced biofuels or any fuel that is not corn-based. The Biorefinery Assistance program is intended to assist in developing new and emerging technologies that produce advanced biofuels to increase the nation’s energy independence; promote resource conservation, public health, and the environment; diversify markets for agricultural products and waste material and spur rural economic development.
About Range Fuels
Range Fuels is focused on commercially producing low-carbon biofuels, including cellulosic ethanol and methanol, and clean renewable power using renewable and sustainable supplies of biomass that cannot be used for food. The company uses an innovative and proprietary two-step thermo-chemical process to convert biomass, such as wood chips, switchgrass, corn stover, sugarcane bagasse and olive pits to cellulosic biofuels and clean renewable power. Range Fuels’ suite of low-carbon biofuels products can be used to displace gasoline or diesel transportation fuels, generate clean renewable energy or be used as low-carbon chemical building blocks for other products. Range Fuels' vision is to introduce the world to solutions to the pressing global problems of energy, the environment, and the economy by providing low-carbon biofuels and clean power that are renewable, sustainable, and eco-friendly.