USDA has issued a loan guarantee that will allow a biofuels firm to construct a facility in New Mexico. The new plant will produce "green crude" oil from algae which can be refined into transportation fuel. The loan recipient, Sapphire Energy, Inc., intends to design, build and operate a 135-million dollar integrated algal biorefinery in Columbus, New Mexico, for the production of advanced biofuel that is a "drop-in" replacement for petroleum derived diesel and jet fuel.
In making the announcement Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said- this project represents another step in the effort to assist the nation's advanced biofuel industry produce energy in commercial quantities from sustainable rural resources. The project will also increase energy security and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Funding is provided through USDA's Biorefinery Assistance Program.
Producing fuel from algae is seen as one way to provide for domestically produced fuel for commercial and military use.