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  • Aemetis Inc.

Aemetis approved by USCIS for $200 million of EB-5 investment in biogas, SAF, carbon-sequestration projects

Updated: Apr 2

Aemetis Inc. announced March 21 approval by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of $200 million of EB-5 program investment for the Riverbank sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production plant, the dairy renewable natural gas (RNG) project, the carbon-sequestration project, and energy-efficiency upgrades to the Keyes ethanol plant. 

Under the EB-5 program, investors and their spouses, and unmarried children under 21 years old, are eligible to apply for their Green Card and lawful permanent residence if they make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the U.S. and plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. According to USCIS, this program is known as EB-5 for the name of the employment-based fifth preference visa that participants receive.


The Riverbank plant was recently granted authority to construct (ATC) air permits and is designed to produce 78 million gallons per year (mgy) of SAF for the aviation market. 


Aemetis has already secured more than $3 billion of contracts to supply airlines with SAF.


“This $200 million of funding provides attractive terms at a low interest rate to fund our projects, including the dairy RNG project and the SAF plant to meet rapidly increasing global demand for SAF from airlines,” said Eric McAfee, chairman and CEO of Aemetis. “This EB-5 funding, the 20-year USDA-guaranteed loans, and other financings support the continued growth of the company as set forth in the Aemetis five-year plan.”


According to the determinations made by USCIS, the regional center presented evidence asserting that 245 qualified investors will invest $200 million in EB-5 capital into Advanced Bioenergy II, the new commercial enterprise (NCE).


The NCE will invest in Aemetis Advanced Products Keyes, the job-creating entity (JCE).


The JCE intends to expand the existing 65 mgy Aemetis ethanol plant in Keyes, California, by the engineering, permitting, construction and operation of:


  1. Upgrades to the ethanol plant for improved energy efficiency and increased production, including the installation of solar panels, mechanical vapor recompression and the use of sugars from waste forest and orchard wood to replace corn sugars for biofuels production.

  2. The dairy RNG system that includes dairy digesters, a gas pipeline, a central facility to convert biogas to renewable natural gas, RNG fueling stations and an interconnection facility to the utility gas pipeline.

  3. A biofuels production facility that uses the distillers oil product of the ethanol plant and other renewable oils to produce SAF and renewable diesel.

  4. A well that sequesters carbon in the form of CO2 emitted by the production processes and other CO2 emissions collected in the area. 


The project’s two primary locations are the Aemetis Advanced Fuels Keyes 65 mgy ethanol plant and the Riverbank Industrial Complex.  


The USCIS found that the Aemetis projects are both located within high unemployment areas.


Eight investors have already invested $500,000 per investor (a total of $4 million) and 245 additional future investors have now been approved at $800,000 per investor (for an additional $196 million) for a total of $200 million under the EB-5 program.


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