$15M grant supports development of proposed Louisiana biorefinery

By Erin Voegele | January 19, 2022

Strategic Biofuels and the Port of Columbia in Caldwell Parish, Louisiana, on Jan. 19 announced the port has received a $15 million infrastructure and improvement grant that will benefit Strategic Biofuels’ proposed Louisiana Green Fuels project.

The proposed 33.7 MMgy biorefinery, located at the Port of Colombia, will convert wood waste into biobased fuels. Information released by the Louisiana governor’s office in April 2021 indicates the facility will target production of both renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). At that time, the state said Strategic Biofuels was completing feasibility and financing phases for the project and was expected to make a final investment decision by late 2022.

The proposed project is also expected to feature a carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) component to enable the production of carbon-negative fuel. A CCS test well was successfully completed in August 2021, according to Strategic Biofuels.

The $15 million infrastructure improvement grant was awarded through the Louisiana Port Construction and Development Priority Program, which is administrated by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. The funds will support a road upgrade, the development of a 37-car rail spur to allow access to the Union Pacific mainline that borders the plant site, and construction of a rail overpass.

“The infrastructure improvement grant represents a major advancement for the Port of Columbia and Caldwell Parish,” said Greg Richardson, port director. “It allows the Port to improve the services it can offer and ultimately improve revenues. Because of the grant’s potential impact, the Port engaged Gary LaGrange, longtime Director of the Port of New Orleans, to help us navigate the grant application process. During Gary’s 15-year tenure with the Port of New Orleans, he was responsible for more than $500 million in infrastructure improvements before he retired in 2016. Our success in securing the grant confirmed the Port Commissioners’ wisdom in engaging him.”

“We greatly appreciate the efforts the Port has made to secure funding for infrastructure improvements,” said Bob Meredith, chief operating officer of Strategic Biofuels. “The early upgrading of Riverton Camp Road coming this summer provides strong support for LGF’s aggressive construction schedule. It allows us to begin actual plant construction as soon as the full project funding is secured, and we expect that to be in early 2023. The Port has also been a key contributor in our efforts with DOTD and Union Pacific Railroad. The strong support we’ve continued to receive from Caldwell Parish confirms the wisdom of locating the plant here.”