Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday announced a
loan guarantee to Chemtex Internationall to construct a 20
million gal/year cellulosic ethanol refinery in Sampson County in
eastern North Carolina.
The project, a first-of-its-kind
commercial facility in the mid-Atlantic region, will help
reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil, increase farm
income, and create jobs in the region, the US Department of
Agriculture (USDA) said.
Todays announcement supports the Obama
administrations all-of-the-above energy
strategy to embrace alternative American-produced feedstocks that support our nation's
energy independence and provide jobs in rural areas, said
At USDA, we are focused on the production of renewable
energy from a wide variety of non-food sources, including
energy grasses, he continued.
The facility we are announcing today will help create
more than 300 jobs in North Carolina and is a perfect example
of how producing home-grown energy is good for the economy and
good for our energy future.
The Chemtex facility is expected to create 65 full time jobs
with estimated average salaries of more than $48,000/year, the
An additional 250 indirect jobs are also anticipated in
areas such as feedstock supply, maintenance, and transportation.
Once operational, the facility is expected to convert
600,000 tpy of energy grasses into an estimated 20 million
gallons of cellulosic ethanol (advanced biofuel) using a proprietary
enzymatic hydrolysis process.
The plant will produce biofuels for eastern transportation
markets using non-food biomass feedstocks.
The USDA approved a $99 million, 80% loan guarantee to
finance the project. The loan guarantee approval
is subject to conditions that Chemtex must meet prior to
closing of the loan.