Historic $600 Million Investment in Advanced Biorefinery Projects by DOE, USDA Recognizes Industry's Job Creation, Energy Security Potential

WASHINGTON, DC (December 4, 2009) -- The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today applauded the announcement of over $600 million in grants and loan guarantees to help build 19 new biorefinery projects to produce advanced biofuels and biobased chemicals from renewable feedstocks. The funding represents the largest single federal investment in advanced biorefineries to date.

"This unprecedented investment by DOE and USDA shows how important advanced biofuels and biobased chemicals are to the economic and energy security of the country," said Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of BIO. "These are precisely the kind of projects the Recovery Act should be funding - creating jobs while helping the country move to a more sustainable industrial future."

A recent report by Bio Economic Research Associates (bio-era™), U.S. Economic Impact of Advanced Biofuels Production: Perspectives to 2030, found that advanced biorefineries could create 29,000 new jobs and $5.5 billion in economic growth over the next three years - and over 800,000 new jobs throughout the economy by 2022.

The awards will fund pioneering production of breakthrough cellulosic and algae-based fuels and renewable alternatives to fossil-based chemicals, such as Succinic acid.

"Along with biofuels, renewable chemicals, plastics, and polymers are critical to the development of a sustainable domestic manufacturing sector," added Executive Vice President of BIO's Industrial and Environmental Section Brent Erickson. "We are pleased that USDA and DOE recognized this in selecting these awards.

"These grants will help pioneering companies such as Algenol Biofuels, Amyris Biotechnologies, Elevance Renewable Sciences, Myriant Technologies (BioEnergy International), Solazyme, and ZeaChem to attract the capital necessary to commercialize their innovative technologies. The funding could not come at a better time."

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BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.