USDA - Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program

February 25, 2020


USDA Rural Development is offering loan guarantees for the development, construction, and retrofitting of commercial-scale biorefineries. Eligible borrowers include individuals, entities, Indian tribes, state or local governments, corporations, farm cooperatives or farm cooperative organizations, associations of agricultural producers, National Laboratories, institutions of higher education, rural electric cooperatives, public power entities, and consortium of any of these types of entities. Financed entities must provide at least 20% of the financing for eligible project costs, and applications for funding must include an independent feasibility study and technical assessment.  Eligible project costs include the purchase and installation of equipment, construction or retrofitting costs, permit and licensing fees, working capital, land acquisition, and the costs of financing.

The project must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be for the development and construction or the retrofitting of a commercial-scale biorefinery using an eligible technology
  • Must use an eligible feedstock for the production of advanced biofuels and biobased products
  • The majority of the production must be an advanced biofuels

Eligible advanced biofuels include:

  • Biofuel derived from cellulose, hemicellulose, or lignin, or other fuels derived from cellulose
  • Biofuel derived from sugar, starch, excluding ethanol derived from from corn kernel starch
  • Biofuel derived from waste material, including crop residue, vegetative waste material, animal waste, food waste, and yard waste
  • Diesel fuel derived from renewable biomass, including vegetable oil and animal fat
  • Biogas, including landfill gas and sewage waste treatment gas, produced through the conversion of organic matter from renewable biomass

In 2014, "renewable chemicals"  and "biofuels" were added to this program under the name of Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program to provide guaranteed loans for the development and construction of commercial-scale biorefineries or for the retrofitting of existing facilities using eligible technology for the development of advanced biofuels.

Deadlines for applications are usually on April 1 and October 1 of each year, with letters of intent due 30 days before the application. Current application deadline is April 1, 2020.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Federal
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Federal
Incentive Type: Loan Program
Web Site:
Administrator: US Department of Agriculture
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Biomass
  • Municipal Solid Waste
  • Landfill Gas
Maximum Loan: Maximum loan amount: 80% of project costs or $250 million
Loan Term: Term: 20 years or the useful life of the project, whichever is less
Rate: Lender's customary commercial interest rate, fixed or variable
Fees vary with % guarantee and loan amount


Name: 7 CFR 4279, Subpart C.
Date Enacted: 2/14/2011
Name: 7 USC § 8103
Name: H.R. 8 (American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012)
Date Enacted: 01/02/2013
Effective Date: 01/02/2013
Name: 9003 Interim Rule


Name: Todd Hubbell
Organization: Biorefinery Assistance Program
Phone: (202) 720-0410
Name: Rural Business & Cooperative Service Energy Programs
Organization: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Phone: (202) 720-0410

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.