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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

USDA grants $22M of the $100M available in HBIIP program to increase biofuel sales

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

USDA announced Oct. 8 that it has invested $22 million out of the up to $100 million in a first round of grants made available through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, the end goal of which is to increase the availability of biofuels such as biodiesel.

Of the $100 million USDA has provided for this program, only $14 million is intended to support infrastructure for biodiesel blends above 5 percent, such as B20, while the vast majority is earmarked for ethanol. The grants will be matched by private and state investments.

"Investments made through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program are helping rural communities build stronger economies and will give consumers more choices when they fill up at the pump," said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue.

HBIIP helps transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities convert to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends by sharing costs for installation of fuel pumps, related equipment and infrastructure.

"I want to thank Secretary Sonny Perdue for following through on this commitment to biodiesel producers and farmers," said Donnell Rehagen, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board. "The biodiesel industry is pursuing a vision for sustainable growth to more than 6 billion gallons by the end of this decade. The cost-sharing grants USDA is beginning to announce will help us bring consumers the better, cleaner transportation and heating fuels they are looking for."

Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, said, "Infrastructure is the key to ensuring we can deliver low carbon fuels to the nation, and these grants will help take us to the next level with that in Iowa and beyond. As the top biodiesel-producing state, Iowa sits at the heart of this energy transformation and our producers and farmers stand ready to grow. We thank USDA for leading this infrastructure effort."

Jeff Jorgenson, president of the Iowa Soybean Association, said, "Today's announcement is encouraging for soybean farmers. Efforts to make homegrown, soy-based biodiesel more readily available is a win for farmers and consumers. Biodiesel provides an important domestic market for our soybeans and consumers an environmentally friendly fuel choice. As farmers harvest another soybean crop, we're mindful of the critical demand and price impact of biodiesel, accounting for nearly $1.15 of the current market price for soybeans."

USDA plans on announcing the remaining HBIIP investments in the coming weeks.



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