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Net-Zero 1 reaches key milestone for DOE loan guarantee

Net-Zero 1 reaches key milestone for DOE loan guarantee
Gevo Inc. has purchased a site near Lake Preston, South Dakota (SD) for Net-Zero 1 (NZ-1), its first commercial-scale sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) facility (image courtesy Gevo).

US-headed biofuels- and biochemicals producer and process developer Gevo, Inc., has announced that its Net-Zero 1 ethanol-to-jet project has been invited by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to the due diligence and term sheet negotiation phase for a US$950 million loan guarantee under the Title 17 Clean Energy Financing Program.

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According to a statement, the invitation was based on the DOE’s determination that Gevo’s Net-Zero 1 Project is “highly qualified and suitable” for a loan guarantee from the DOE.

This key milestone marks the successful completion of the phase II application and diligence process, which Gevo publicly announced on January 19, 2023. Most importantly, this milestone signifies the commencement of the underwriting phase for the debt financing process.

We believe that reaching this stage with the DOE is a critical milestone and illustrative of Gevo’s progress in developing Net-Zero 1. We are excited to be working with the DOE on a process that supports our mission to deliver Sustainable Aviation Fuel to the marketplace, stated Dr Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo.

Utilize renewable heat and power

The Net-Zero 1 plant is expected to have an annual capacity of 65 million (US) gallons (≈ 246 million litres) of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and other hydrocarbons, as well as approximately 1.5 billion pounds (≈ 680 400 tonnes) of high-value nutritional products on a wet basis annually.

The electricity needed to power the plant is expected to come from wind energy and other renewable energy sources, ensuring a sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to fuel production.

Additionally, the thermal energy needs of the plant are expected to be met by renewable natural gas (RNG) sourced from upstream facilities that produce RNG using manure from dairy cattle and livestock.

DOE’s invitation into the due diligence and term sheet negotiation process is not an assurance that DOE will issue a loan guarantee, nor that the terms and conditions of a loan guarantee will align with the terms proposed by Gevo.

The DOE invitation states, however, that Gevo and its Net-Zero 1 Project have the potential to join the DOE’s portfolio of loans. The foregoing matters are wholly dependent on the results of DOE’s review and determinations.

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