USDA is accepting applications for funding under a program that supports the production of advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, and biobased product manufacturing, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday.
"This critical financing will enhance our efforts to build a robust, rural bioeconomy by helping to expand the availability of biobased products and to increase the number of commercial-scale biorefineries in the country," Vilsack said.
USDA is making the funding available through the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program. It was formerly known as the Biorefinery Assistance Program.
The new program provides loan guarantees of up to $250 million to construct and retrofit commercial-scale biorefineries and to develop renewable chemicals and biobased product manufacturing facilities.
Vilsack and USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Lillian Salerno on Thursday hosted a seminar at USDA headquarters to discuss changes to the program and the opportunities available to produce more biobased products.
Two funding cycles are being held. Applications for round one are due Oct. 1. Applications for the second round are due April 1, 2016. For information on how to apply, see page 38432 of the July 6, 2015 Federal Register.
Related: USDA Offers Review of Bioeconomy
USDA released a new report on June 17 that shows America's biobased industry is generating substantial economic activity and creating American jobs. According to the report, the U.S. biobased industry contributed four million jobs and nearly $370 billion to the American economy in 2013 alone.