Louisiana port where renewable diesel, CCS project is located receives $1 million federal grant
Strategic Biofuels announced Aug. 24 that the Port of Columbia, home to the Louisiana Green Fuels project, has been awarded a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency through its Port Security Grant Program.
The PSGP is part of a series of grant programs created by Congress and implemented by DHS to help strengthen defenses around the nation’s critical infrastructure. The PSGP specifically provides funds to state, local, territorial and private-sector partners to help protect port-wide risk management and transportation infrastructure in support of the National Preparedness Goal.
A total of $100 million was awarded under the Port Security Grant Program to 213 recipients across the country. The $1 million awarded to the Port of Columbia was the largest award to the 15 Louisiana recipients and was in the top 8 percent of all awards granted.
Notably, it was greater than the grants to the Port of New Orleans, the Port of Baton Rouge, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“This funding commitment from DHS and FEMA recognizes our deeply carbon-negative footprint Louisiana Green Fuels project as a key contributor to our country’s energy transition and worthy of federal investment into its security,” said Paul Schubert, CEO of Strategic Biofuels. “The Columbia Port Commission’s leaders have been strong advocates for us from the beginning and have been exceptionally effective in securing state and federal funds that enhance the port’s infrastructure and support our project.”
The Louisiana Green Fuels project will have a significant and positive impact on the entire northern Louisiana region, creating an estimated 151 direct jobs and about 750 indirect jobs in Louisiana’s 5th congressional district, the seventh poorest in the nation.
The district’s average annual household income is just $36,000 and Caldwell Parish’s is even lower at $32,000 for its 10,000 residents. The average salary for jobs at the plant is expected to be $69,000, not counting benefits. Construction in support of the project is scheduled to begin at the port this autumn, funded by an earlier $15 million Louisiana Port Priority Program grant through the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. The Port of Columbia is managing this early work.
“We are excited to see the Columbia Port Commission’s continuing success in bringing infrastructure-improvement funds into Caldwell Parish,” said Bob Meredith, chief operating officer of Strategic Biofuels. “The port’s efforts accelerate the construction schedule and provide tangible evidence of economic revitalization and new job opportunities coming to the region as a result of the Louisiana Green Fuels project.”
The project has continued to benefit from the state and federal governments’ desire to support carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) innovation and development to meet climate goals.
Last summer, Strategic Biofuels successfully completed the first CCS test well. Most recently, the federal Inflation Reduction Act enacted this month increased the IRS Section 45Q sequestration tax credits the project will receive on the approximately 1.4 million tons per year of CO2 it will sequester from $50 per ton to $85 per ton. In addition, on Aug. 1, Act 163 signed by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards went into effect, expanding the eminent-domain acquisition of the pore rights necessary for underground CO2 storage in Caldwell Parish and directly supporting the Louisiana Green Fuels project.
Louisiana Green Fuels is the first of a series of projects by Strategic Biofuels in Caldwell Parish, Louisiana. Located at the Port of Columbia, the plant will produce renewable diesel fuel from forestry waste and will produce all its own green power from sawmill and forestry-waste materials. Strategic Biofuels expects the plant and its CCS wells to produce renewable diesel fuel with a carbon footprint that is nearly a 400 percent reduction compared to fossil diesel.