Owners of proposed Woodville biomass plant seeking funding

Nacogdoches (News Release) - East Texas Electric Cooperative, which is planning to build a biomass plant in Woodville, Texas, has officially filed its application for loan funding from the Rural Utilities Service of the USDA.

The loan application states that ETEC is seeking a low interest loan from RUS in the amount of $145 million.

Slated to be completed in late 2013 or early 2014, the Woodville plant will produce approximately 50 megawatts of power and will become a part of the mix of utility resources managed by ETEC.

"We are pleased that progress has been made to the stage where we can line up funding for the construction of this important plant," said Edd Hargett, General Manager of ETEC. "This step brings us that much closer to the start of construction, bringing needed jobs and economic activity to East Texas."

"It is anticipated that the RUS loan application review process will be completed by late 2011 with funds becoming available in the early 2012 timeframe. Long-term financing from RUS fothe Woodville biomass project will help ensure that ETEC continues to meet its goal of providing reliable, low-cost power to its members," said Ryan Thomas, Chief Financial Officer of ETEC.

Thomas estimates that there will be 20-25 permanent jobs at the plant once it is completed.  RUS, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, is charged with providing loans and loan guarantees to finance the construction of electric distribution, transmission, and generation facilities, including system improvements and replacement required to furnish and improve electric service in rural areas, as well as demand side management, energy conservation programs, and on-grid and off-grid renewable energy systems. Loans are made to entities, including electric cooperatives, that provide retail electric service needs to rural areas or supply the power needs of distribution borrowers in rural areas.