The U.S. Energy Department on Thursday said it has finalized a $132.4 million loan guarantee for an Abengoa (ABG.MC) cellulosic ethanol project.
Abengoa's advanced biofuel plant located in Hugoton, Kansas is expected to convert about 300,000 tons of crop waste, such as corn stalks and leaves, into 23 million gallons of ethanol per year.
The final guarantee is slightly lower than the $133.9 million in conditional backing the company was offered in August. The loan aid will help support about 300 jobs during construction and 65 permanent jobs once the plant is completed.
The Abengoa project was one of about a half dozen pending applications still waiting on a final decision from the department with the government's renewable energy loan program set to end on Friday.
Other major projects that have not yet closed out their loan guarantees include First Solar's (FSLR.O) 230 megawatt Antelope and 550 megawatt Desert Sunlight solar plants, as well as SunPower Corp's (SPWRA.O) 250 megawatt California Valley solar plant.
The government's renewable energy loan guarantees have been in the spotlight since the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturer, the first company to benefit from the program.
Republican lawmakers investigating Solyndra's loan guarantee have complained that the Obama administration may be rushing its final pending applications out to meet the program's deadline.
The department has vehemently disputed these claims, saying loan applications have undergone many months of due dilligence.
We are confident that supporting these projects will help American companies compete in the global clean energy market, the department said in the statement announcing the completion of the Abengoa guarantee.