New Advanced Biofuel Production facility in Boardman Oregon - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Advanced Biofuel Production facility in Boardman Oregon

Posted: Updated:

BOARDMAN,Ore. --A White House visitor announced some very good news in Boardman,Oregon today about a project that will bring not only jobs to the rural community But produce an alternative, eco-friendly fuel.

In his State Of The Union Speech, President Obama talked about developing alternative energy right here in America. Thursday,  the USDA Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager came to Boardman to address a new project to do just that.

The USDA  will be giving ZeaChem,  Boardman refinery plant a conditional loan of $232.5 million dollars to finance and build a plant which will convert agricultural waste and wood biomass into bio-based fuel.

"Its good for the environment, its good for the economy, and it's a great example of how federal agencies can leverage funds to get the most bang for taxpayer's buck," says Under Secretary USDA For Rural Development, Dallas Tonsager.

Conditions include ZeaChem producing 25 million gallons a year.  ZeaChem must meet all conditions before the 60% of the loan guarantee is granted.  The entire project is estimated to cost $390.5 million.

The loan is estimated to create 65 jobs in the plant, adding 188 direct construction jobs as well as 240 indirect construction jobs.

"The products we make are just like what comes out of a refinery except it's green.  So if you can make green and sell it at a brown price, that's a great deal," says Jim Imbler the CEO and President of ZeaChem Inc.

ZeaChem already has demo model of the  biorefinery plant which has been in operation since January of this year.  The company is working on developing a commercial-scale plant which they hope to have financed and built by 2014.