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Biden administration offers $1 bln loan guarantee for hydrogen project

Biden administration offers $1 bln loan guarantee for hydrogen project
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US President Joe Biden talks about his country’s fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the White House in Washington, US, December 21, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarck

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Biden administration said Thursday it has offered Monolith Nebraska LLC a conditional loan guarantee of up to $1.04 billion for a clean hydrogen project, its first use of an office with tens of billions of dollars. in finance.

Funding from the Department of Energy’s Loan Program Office (LPO) is intended to help Monolith expand its plant in Olive Creek to convert natural gas to hydrogen to make products like fertilizer. The plant will also make carbon black, a product used to make tires and other rubber products. The ministry said the project aims to reduce carbon emissions by reducing the use of fuel oil to make those products.

LPO has more than $40 billion to fund innovative energy projects that can help tackle climate change. Congress authorized the LPO in 2005 amid concerns about domestic energy supplies. The administration of former President Donald Trump has rarely used the domestic purchase order, along with funding for the Vogtel nuclear power plant in Georgia.

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“Clean, advanced production technologies like Monolith are the kinds of impactful projects that not only support sustainability, but support economic growth and clean energy jobs,” said US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. The ministry estimated that guaranteeing the loan, which requires several steps before it becomes final, will create about 1,000 construction jobs and 75 permanent jobs.

Under the leadership of Director Jigar Shah, the Domestic Purchase Act has now attracted more than 66 loan guarantee and loan applications, valued at more than $53 billion in clean energy projects and advanced auto technologies, the LPO said.

The Infrastructure Act recently signed into law by President Joe Biden expands LPO’s lending authority and broadens the pool of eligible borrowers.

Since its founding, the LPO has issued more than $35 billion in loans and loan guarantees, including to auto and battery company Tesla Inc (TSLA.O). But some Republicans have criticized the Domestic Purchase Act for a $535 million loan to Solyndra, a failed solar energy company.

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(Reporting by Timothy Gardner) Editing by Chris Reese and Aurora Ellis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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