Applications for $700M in COVID relief for biofuels due Feb. 11

Source: By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Sunday, January 2, 2022

Biofuel producers who experienced market losses in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will have until Feb. 11 to file an application with the USDA seeking a portion of the $700 million in relief funds to be awarded under the Biofuel Producer Program.

The USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service on Dec. 13 published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the application window and application requirements for the $700 million in COVID-19 relief funds announced by the agency earlier in the month.

The Biofuel Producer Program will may payments to eligible producers of eligible biofuel for unexpected market losses as a result of COVID-19. The USDA said the payments to biofuel producers will support the maintenance and viability of a significant market for agricultural producers of products, such as corn, soybeans or biomass, that supply biofuel production. Payments awarded to biofuel producers under the program will be based upon the volume of market loss the biofuel producer experienced in calendar year 2020. According to the notice, a producer’s volume of market loss will be calculated by comparing the amount of fuel they produced in calendar year 2020 to the amount of fuel produced in 2019. Eligible gallons of biofuel produced by the eligible producer in 2020 to meet required contractual commitments resulting in a gross profit loss will be deducted from 2020 production by the agency’s calculation of program payments, the USDA said in the notice. Quantities of gaseous biofuel will be converted into gallons based on the British thermal unit equivalent of 1 gallon biodiesel using factors published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The notice explains that the payments will be based on a fixed amount per gallon for all eligible producers. That fixed amount per gallon will be calculated by diving the amount of program funding available by the total volume of market loss reported by eligible program applicants.

Applications for the Biofuel Producer Program must be filed by Feb. 11, 2022. A full copy of the notice is available on the Federal Register website.

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