Guaranteed Loans Provided Through Recovery Act Funds Help Local Businesses and Supports the Nation’s Renewable Energy Strategy
WASHINGTON, February 16, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced $144 million in loan guarantees to assist 54 rural businesses through funding made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funding is authorized through USDA Rural Development’s Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program. The program received $1.57 billion through the Act to help rural businesses stimulate economic development.
"A number of the Recovery Act projects announced today support the President’s comprehensive energy strategy announced earlier this month," said Vilsack. "Advancing biomass and biofuel production holds the potential to create green jobs, which is one of the many ways the Obama Administration and USDA are working to rebuild and revitalize rural America."
For example, in Hilo, Hawaii, Big Island Biodiesel, LLC, has been selected to receive a $5,000,000 loan guarantee through First Hawaiian Bank in Kahului to construct a $10 million, 2.64 million gallon per year biodiesel production plant in Keaau. The feedstock for this biodiesel plant will primarily be used cooking oil, and potentially jatropha and algae. More than one million gallons of used cooking oil and grease-trap oil will be diverted from Maui, Oahu, and Hawaii County landfills to produce the biodiesel. Hawaii has established an Alternative Fuel Standard (AFS) with the goal of providing 10 percent of highway fuel demand from alternate fuels by 2010, 15 percent by 2015, and 20 percent by 2020.