New Loan Brings Total to $50 Million Arranged by GCL for Aemetis Project, Which Processes Methane From California Dairy Farms Into Carbon Negative Renewable Natural Gas for Use as Transportation Fuel

Greater Commercial Lending (GCL), which provides government-guaranteed loans to businesses and organizations in under-served and rural communities, has completed its second $25 million loan for the Aemetis Biogas Central Dairy Digester Project. The first $25 million loan was completed in October 2022.

The loan, guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), will finance the construction of biogas digesters and related assets for eight dairies located in Stanislaus County and Merced County, California. The digesters capture biomethane from animal waste, which is delivered via pipeline to a central facility that converts the biogas into carbon negative renewable natural gas (RNG) for use as a transportation fuel. The RNG has a negative Carbon Intensity rating because it removes damaging methane gas emissions from the environment and converts the biomethane into a transportation fuel to replace diesel.

“Renewable fuels projects such as the Aemetis dairy renewable natural gas project play a pivotal role in shaping a sustainable future for our planet. However, their successful implementation often requires substantial financial support that isn’t easily accessible through traditional financing sources,” said Jeremy Gilpin, president of GCL, one of the largest providers of USDA loans. “Government-guaranteed loans are critical in advancing these innovative technologies. As we embrace renewable energy, harnessing the power of government-guaranteed financing becomes indispensable in creating a sustainable and thriving future for generations to come.”

The second phase of the project will expand Aemetis Biogas from its current seven operational dairy digesters to biogas digesters at 15 dairies, supplying an estimated 400,000 MMBtu per year of carbon negative RNG. The initial phase of the project, which also included a 40-mile biogas pipeline, was made possible by the first USDA-guaranteed loan completed by GCL.

“We are grateful for our continued working relationship with Greater Commercial Lending, which enables us to expand our operations to improve air quality and reduce carbon pollution,” said Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis. “This project would not have been possible without USDA-guaranteed financing.”

The Aemetis biogas project, when fully built, will connect biogas digesters spanning more than 65 dairy farms and produce more than 1,650,000 MMBtu of renewable natural gas from captured dairy methane each year. The project is on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to an estimated 6.8 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide over 10 years, equal to removing the emissions from approximately 150,000 cars per year, according to Aemetis.

Magnolia Bank of Elizabethtown, Kentucky provided the primary funding for the loan. The loan was made to Aemetis Biogas 2, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aemetis, Inc.