June 27, 2023 [KCTV]- The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that three Missouri companies will receive more than $825,000 in infrastructure investments aimed at increasing the availability of domestic biofuels, or fuels derived from renewable sources such as plants.
Elliott Oil Company in Lancaster, Missouri, received a $357,750 grant to replace four E15 dispensers, four B20 dispensers, install a new ethanol storage tank and a new biodiesel storage tank to be placed at a local fuel station. Rapid Roberts Inc. in Springfield, Missouri, will receive $183,000 to replace four E15 dispensers, four E85 dispensers and an ethanol storage tank at a fueling station in Springfield. Fuel Marketing Corporation in Willow Springs, Missouri, will use a $284,480 grant to install a 420,000-gallon ethanol tank and install related equipment.
Together, the infrastructure improvements are expected to increase annual ethanol sales by nearly 3.8 million gallons and annual biofuel sales by approximately 877,500 gallons.
“Corn is a significant crop in Missouri. Renewable fuels, such as corn ethanol, are affordable for consumers and serve as a critical pathway for agriculture and farmers in Missouri.” USDA Rural Development State Director Kyle Wilken said. “The more energy independent we are throughout rural America, including the most remote areas of our state, the more we can increase new market opportunities, good-paying jobs, and economic benefits. Not only do investments like the ones being announced today promote bottom line savings for business, consumers, and farmers, but also a cleaner environment for future generations.”
The funding is made possible by the Biden-Harris Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act which allotted $50 million toward expanding the availability of higher-blend biofuels. So far, 59 infrastructure projects across the country have received $25 million.
On July 1, the USDA begin accepting applications for $450 million in grants aimed at upgrading infrastructure and and lower out-of-pocket transportation and distribution costs. The grants will cover up to 75% or $5 million of the total project costs. To qualify, the fuels must be more than 10% for ethanol and more than 5% for biodiesel.
The $450 million will be given out in $90 million increments each quarter:
- Approximately $67.5 million will be made available to transportation fueling facilities, including fueling stations; convenience stores; larger retail stores that also sell fuel; and transportation, freight, rail and marine fleet facilities.
- Approximately $18 million will be available to fuel distribution facilities, including terminal operations, depots and midstream operations.
- Up to $4.5 million will be made available to home heating oil distribution facilities.
There will be five application windows between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2024, but a sixth will be opened if funding remains.
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