Feds offer $105M loan guarantee for "Project Liberty" biofuel plant

Poet's so-called "Project Liberty" biofuel plant, which will use corn waste instead of edible corn, is getting some support from the U.S. government. On Thursday, the Department of Energy announced it will offer Poet a $105 million loan guarantee to build out Project Liberty in Iowa, which is supposed to eventually produce up to 25 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year. Through loan guarantees, the government promises to pay back loans if borrowers can't. In many cases, the government is providing the loans as well, via the Federal Financing Bank. The financial support could help Poet finally get Project Liberty into commercial-scale production, and the plant has been in the planning stages for years now. Poet initially was hoping to start building the plant in 2009 and operating it in 2011, and back in 2008, the company was aiming for the plant to eventually produce 125 million gallons of biofuel per year.

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