Bon Wier, Texas, receives AA rating from BDO Zone Initiative
Bon Wier’s AA rating for forest residues, pulpwood and sawmill residuals is the first AA rating issued in North America.
October 20, 2022 By Ecostrat
USA BioEnergy and Ecostrat are pleased to announce the issuance of a new AA rated Bioeconomy Development Opportunity (BDO) Zone designation for Bon Wier, Texas. The AA BDO Zone rating supports the siting decision and the capital raise for USA Bioenergy’s development of an advanced biorefinery through its subsidiary Texas Renewable Fuels (TRF). The facility will convert one million green tons of wood waste into 34 million gallons of premium clean burning transportation fuel annually, including sustainable aviation fuel, renewable diesel, and renewable naphtha.
AA and A BDO Zone ratings identify the areas in the country which are best positioned for low-risk bioeconomy project development. Bon Wier’s AA rating for forest residues, pulpwood and sawmill residuals is the first AA rating issued in North America.
The Bon Wier BDO Zone is rated AA, or very low risk, based on numerous positive indicators such as a strong surplus of available biomass, a large number of potential anchor suppliers, and a healthy forestry labor market. Approximately 13.6 million green tons per year of woody biomass is generated in the Bon Wier BDO Zone, defined by a 75-mile radius of Bon Wier.
Future expansion will double the plant’s production capacity to 68 million gallons annually. In addition, the biorefinery’s demand for thinnings and wood waste will infuse the forestry industry in the Southeast Texas region with stable long-term revenue.
USA BioEnergy is the fund manager of the Double Eagle Opportunity Zone Fund (DEOZF), a national Opportunity Zone fund. The DEOZF was created to allow investors to directly invest in renewable energy projects developed by USA BioEnergy, as well as other projects within the bioeconomy that meet the Opportunity Zone requirements. By taking advantage of preferential tax treatment to defer capital gain while investing in renewable energy projects, the fund offers accredited investors the chance to invest in USA BioEnergy’s waste to fuels facilities.
“USA BioEnergy is committed to delivering over 100 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel into LAX annually. Airlines using our sustainable aviation fuel will eliminate over 50 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over a 20-year period. We achieve this by capturing CO2 as part of our process then sequester it in permanent geologic storage deep underground. This gives us the lowest carbon intensity score in the industry. We do this as part of our mission to achieve our environmental, social, and corporate governance goals and we strive to meet them globally to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all,” stated Nick Andrews, CEO, USA BioEnergy.
USA BioEnergy is proud to work with Citigroup for equity and permanent debt financing. “USA BioEnergy has engaged Citigroup Global Markets Inc. to act as lead underwriter for a tax-exempt private activity bond offering that will comprise the majority of the senior debt financing for the Texas Renewable Fuels project. Citi and USA BioEnergy have worked closely together for more than two years to develop an efficient, achievable plan and we look forward to delivering on this vision.” said David Livingstone, managing director, Citigroup.
“We are excited that USA BioEnergy intends to utilize the BDO Zone rating to support an upcoming capital raise,” said Jordan Solomon, chairman of the BDO Zone Initiative. “AA ratings are rare. In order to achieve the AA rating, Bon Wier was screened and scored using over 100 standardized, transparent, and validated risk indicators based on the BSCR Standards for biobased investment. Bon Wier’s AA BDO Zone rating speaks to the strength and resilience of fibre supply and infrastructure in the region.”
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