Proposed Oregon Biorefinery Gets Backing From USDA

February 29, 2016 03:37 PM

USDA has approved an $11 million loan for a project to build a biorefinery in Boardman that would convert farm waste into natural gas and liquid fertilizer.

The East Oregonian reports Minnesota-based Novus Energy plans to build the $25 million facility at the Port of Morrow.

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and USDA Rural Development Undersecretary Lisa Mensah announced the loan Friday in Portland.

Mensah says the project will spur economic development and provide new markets for farm commodities in rural Oregon.

The facility would take 750 tons of potato peels, dairy manure and other farm waste and convert it into renewable gas. By allowing the scraps to ferment in tanks, organic material breaks down and releases methane that can be captured and stored.

The company plans to break ground this summer.

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