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USDA 9003 Biorefinery Renewable Chemical Loans

A business owner can strategically leverage both traditional lending and government-backed programs from the USDA and SBA to optimize their financing options. Traditional bank loans often provide competitive interest rates and terms, making them a familiar and accessible choice for many entrepreneurs. However, for specific needs such as agricultural ventures or for those who may not qualify for traditional loans, USDA programs offer targeted financial support with potentially more favorable terms.

by | Nov 17, 2023

USDA 9003 Biorefinery Renewable Chemical Loans

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiated the USDA 9003 Biorefinery Loan Program to bolster businesses in advanced biofuel, biorefinery, renewable chemical, and bio-based product sectors.

This initiative aims to fuel economic growth and job creation in rural areas while promoting renewable chemical sources to reduce fossil fuel dependency and greenhouse gas emissions.

USDA 9003 loan guarantees reach up to $250 million. The program supports the development, construction, and retrofitting of innovative technologies, including advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, and bio-based products.

The program’s evolution underscores its adaptability to industry advancements. Initially focused on biofuels, it expanded in 2014 to include renewable chemical and biobased product manufacturing. The 2018 update refined definitions and expanded eligibility criteria, aligning with the sector’s evolution.

A pivotal aspect of the 2018  program update had to do with defining biorefineries and eligible technologies. Biorefineries are now defined as facilities converting renewable biomass into biofuels, renewable chemical and biobased products, and even electricity.

Before applying, businesses should assess their projects against these definitions, ensuring eligibility and maximizing chances of success.

Furthermore, borrowers must demonstrate their proposed technologies’ technical and economic viability.

Providing comprehensive data on technology adoption and commercial potential enhances application strength.


Construction of commercial-scale biorefinery for renewable energy.

In facilitating loan guarantees under the USDA 9003 program, lenders may extend support to a diverse array of borrowers spanning various entities and institutions. Eligible recipients include:

  • Individuals
  • Public and private entities
  • State and local governments
  • Corporations
  • Indian tribes
  • Farm cooperatives
  • Agricultural producer associations
  • National laboratories
  • Institutions of higher education
  • Public power entities

However, securing a guarantee entails adhering to additional prerequisites. Projects must be situated within a state, ensuring geographic alignment with program guidelines.

Federal participation in project funding, including loan guarantees and other federal funding sources, must not exceed 80 percent of the total eligible project costs.

Additionally, borrowers and project principals are mandated to make a substantial cash equity contribution, signifying their commitment to project success and sustainability.

Understanding these criteria is paramount for prospective borrowers. It ensures alignment with program requirements and bolsters the likelihood of securing loan guarantees.

By adeptly navigating these intricacies, borrowers can access the necessary financial support to drive their projects forward, fostering growth and innovation in the renewable energy sector.

What Are the Funds Going to Be Used For?

Commercial-size biorefineries that employ new and emerging technologies.

Bio-based product manufacturing plants use the latest commercially available processing and manufacturing technologies to convert biorefinery byproducts into final commercial products.

In certain cases, refinancing is allowed.

Two types of projects can be considered for the program- biorefinery renewable chemical and biobased product manufacturing facilities.

The USDA 9003 Loan Amounts

The program offers loans of up to $250 million in additional support. Nonetheless, the income per applicant could not be the same.

The program assesses the promise of the proposed project and its ability to contribute to the development of advanced biofuels, renewable chemical and biobased product manufacturing.

USDA 9003 loan requirements do not include an income requirement. However, the financial capacity to contribute to the project costs is a critical factor in the loan evaluation process.

How to Apply to USDA-9003 Biorefinery Chemical Renewable Energy Loans

Below are easy to follow steps to enable you to go through this process and secure necessary funding for your project.

1. Check Eligibility

You need to check that your project is in compliance with the eligibility criteria first, before entering the application process. Elements like project scale, place, and subject of interest are very significant in the determination of eligibility.

Through the USDA criteria, you can either qualify the program for funding or work on improving its criteria for future funding.

The next step is to be sure you’re eligible before assessing the feasibility of your proposed project. An in-depth feasibility study will help you to assess the project costs, energy savings, and most obvious rewards. There are professionals in the industry who can provide useful advice on how feasible or credible your project is and this could help you make the right choices.

2. Gather Documents

Aerial view of rural economic growth spurred by a new biorefinery.

Once the applicants’ eligibility is determined (whether it be for direct assistance or a combination of different programs), then the groundwork for the application, which includes all necessary documentation required, can be started. This could include financial data, project plans, and other documents required by USDA.

The filing of these records will be done in an orderly fashion which will make the application process smooth and all details will be scrutinized for nothing will be left out during the evaluation.

Finally, after you have gathered all the required documents you will need to fill out the applications carefully and honestly. Rely on the USDA instructions carefully to ensure you do not commit any mistakes that may hinder the processing. Ensure that your forms are 100% complete before applying to avoid a bumpy process.

3. Register

Containers of sustainable materials

Do not forget to register your business before you submit your application. That’s because, without registration, you will not have any qualifications to receive finance or trade with government financial organs. You had better make sure that your registration is up to date, so as to ensure application success and avoid application obstacles.

Once your application is complete and all documents have been received, your applicant information will be reviewed by the USDA. You may be asked to provide more detail or explanation as needed by the reviewer, who is charged with making sure you meet all prerequisites and guidelines of the USDA.

4. Environmental Check

Futuristic city powered by biofuels and renewable chemicals.

When your application is being reviewed it is important to know that your project is following the environmental regulations and guide book. The kind of your project may need an environmental review related to how your project will impact the environement. Cooperate with USDA to resolve any environmental concerns so the project can run smoothly.

Once USDA gives final approval of your application, another notice from USDA will follow about how much you will receive and what is required of you. Review carefully such a notice too (which may include deadlines and/or conditions pertaining to your funding). Such data qualifying your farm proposal are quite crucial in the endeavour to put your project into action.

5. Implement Project

Farmers harvesting biomass crops for biofuel production.

Once the award is secured, it’s time to carry out the production of your biorefinery renewable chemical project as described in the USDA programme manual. 

Adherence to the programme’s timeline and deliverables under which the funding was awarded will help ensure that your project doesn’t go off track or blow by deadlines for critical milestones. Sound bookkeeping of expenditures and milestones will also enrich your reporting and accountability activities.

Following these simple rules and keeping a close eye on them, especially when using the USDA 9003 Biorefinery Renewable Chemical Loans procedure, you will do it easily and you will obtain funding for this project.

Do you want to take your business to the next level with a USDA 9003 loan? Flaney Capital will help you to access the capital you need to bring your renewable energy projects to life.

Contact us now to get started. Call 1-888-822-0844.

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Are you ready to take your business to new heights? Discover the power of the USDA Business Industry Program. With its comprehensive eligibility criteria, underwriting requirements, and loan guarantees, this program provides accessible and affordable loan options for businesses in rural areas.


Here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

What is the primary purpose of the USDA 9003 program?
The USDA 9003 program aims to support bio-based product manufacturers by providing guaranteed loans for developing new or emerging technologies.
How does the USDA 9003 rule affect small entities?
The USDA 9003 rule provides opportunities for small entities to secure financial assistance, which can significantly impact their operations and growth potential.
What are some benefits of participating in the USDA 9003 program?
Participation in the USDA 9003 program offers numerous benefits, including financial support for technological advancements and increased competitive advantage in bio-based product markets.
Can you explain the 'Interim Final Rule' of the USDA 9003 Program?
The Interim Final Rule refers to temporary regulatory changes made by the USDA regarding eligibility criteria or loan guarantee conditions under the 9003 Program until a permanent rule is established.
What was addressed in comments on the Proposed Rule of the USDA 9003 Program?
Comments on the Proposed Rule mainly focused on aspects like eligibility criteria, application processes, and evaluation metrics, which were considered while framing final regulations.

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