The USDA takes great pride in offering the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program, commonly referred to as the Section 9003 program. This initiative, designed as a loan guarantee program, extends substantial financial assistance of up to $250 million to businesses engaged in the development, construction, or retrofitting of facilities dedicated to the production of advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, and biobased products.
Why is the USDA running the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program?
Under this program, eligible businesses or organizations are granted an invaluable opportunity to receive the crucial funding necessary to propel their ambitions in the realm of sustainable innovation. By facilitating their efforts to develop cutting-edge facilities, the program nurtures the growth of industries committed to reducing dependence on traditional fossil fuels and embracing environmentally conscious alternatives.
Further, this program plays a vital role in advancing the USDA’s goals of promoting environmental sustainability, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and developing a robust bioeconomy. By providing financial assistance, the program supports businesses in their efforts to scale up their operations, enhance production capacity, and make their products more accessible and affordable.
The USDA’s Section 9003 program stands as a beacon of support for enterprises committed to propelling environmental progress. By aligning financial assistance with their sustainable aspirations, businesses are empowered to make tangible contributions towards a greener future while advancing their growth and success.
How May Funds Be Used?
The funds obtained through this program can be utilized for various purposes related to producing biofuels, renewable chemicals, and biobased products. Eligible expenses may include:
- Funds may be used to develop, construct, or retrofit commercial-scale biorefineries that use eligible technology.
- Additionally, funds may be used to create, build, or retrofit biobased product manufacturing facilities that employ cutting-edge, large-scale, commercial manufacturing and processing machinery to transform renewable chemicals and other biobased byproducts of biorefineries into final consumer goods.
- In certain circumstances, refinancing may also be eligible.
Here is a more detailed explanation of each point:
- Commercial-scale biorefineries: These are facilities that use biological processes to convert biomass into fuels, chemicals, and other products. The technology used in these facilities must be eligible for the program, which means that it must be new or innovative.
- Biobased product manufacturing facilities: These are facilities that turn renewable chemicals and other biobased byproducts of biorefineries into final consumer goods using industrial-scale processing and manufacturing machinery. These facilities require state-of-the-art equipment that is brand-new in terms of technology.
- Refinancing: In certain circumstances, the program may be used to refinance existing loans. This would allow businesses to improve their financial position and sustain their operations.
These funds provide the necessary financial support to overcome initial investment hurdles and foster the growth of sustainable businesses in the renewable energy sector.
What Are the Application Deadlines?
The previous deadline for submitting applications was October 3, 2023. To get ahead of the April 2024 application deadline, start planning today!
For each guarantee request, the Lender or the Borrower must also be sure to submit to the USDA a non-binding letter of intent to apply for the loan guarantee no fewer than 30 calendar days prior to the application deadline.
How Do We Get Started with This Program?
The Section 9003 program uses a two-phase application process.
- In Phase 1, the applicant must submit a Letter of Intent and provide information on a lender, borrower, project eligibility, preliminary economic and technical feasibility, and the application’s priority score.
- In Phase 2, the applicant must submit an environmental report, technical report, financial model, and the applicant’s credit evaluation.
The two-phase application process is designed to help the USDA RD office assess the feasibility of projects and to ensure that only the most promising projects receive loan guarantees. Further, the feasibility study is a critical part of the application process, so it is important to have it done by a qualified professional.
How Can August Brown Help with the Feasibility Study?
The Feasibility Study required by the USDA must be an analysis completed by an independent qualified consultant or consultants. The analysis assesses the economic, market, technical, financial, and management feasibility of a proposed Project or business in terms of its expectation for success. That’s where August Brown, a leading consultancy with experience in renewable energy projects, comes in. Leveraging our extensive experience and expertise, August Brown can assist businesses in conducting thorough feasibility studies tailored to the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program’s requirements.
August Brown’s team of experts understands the intricacies of renewable energy projects and can provide valuable insights into factors like technology selection, project financing, and regulatory compliance. By leveraging their knowledge, businesses can enhance their project proposals, increase their chances of securing funding, and pave the way for successful implementation.
The USDA’s Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program is a valuable resource for businesses that are developing, constructing, or retrofitting facilities to produce advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, and biobased products. The program provides up to $250 million in loan guarantees, and it can help businesses to create jobs, boost economic development, and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
If you are considering a project in this area, we encourage you to contact August Brown to learn more about how they can help you with your feasibility study.