Cool Planet awarded USDA loan guarantee

By Staff | November 24, 2014

The USDA has awarded a $91 million loan guarantee to Cool Planet Energy Systems to help finance the company’s advanced biofuel facility, which is under development in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. The award was made under the Biorefinery Assistance Program, which was established by the 2008 Farm Bill.

Cool Planet broke ground on the Louisiana biorefinery in February 2013. Company spokesman Wesley Bolsen said the site work is currently being completed. Construction on the biorefinery is expected to begin by the end of the year. Bolsen said the facility is scheduled to be operational by late 2015 or early 2016.

Once complete, the facility, located at the Port of Alexandria, will have the capacity to produce between 8 MMgy and 10 MMgy of reformate, a drop-in ingredient in gasoline and jet fuel that can be added during the regular refinery process. The USDA noted that reformate enhances the energy content of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Pine chips will be the feedstock source for the plant. The company, however, can use almost any type of cellulosic material.

According to the USDA, it reached an agreement with Silicon Valley Bank to provide the $91 million loan guarantee to Cool Planet. In addition to the USDA’s contribution, the company has attracted private investments from numerous companies, including Google Ventures, BP, ConocoPhillips, GE, Exelon and NRG Energy. Cool Planet will contribute $50 million in equity to the project.