On Thursday, the Biden administration jobs announced that it has offered Monolith Nebraska LLC a conditional loan guarantee of up to $1.04 billion for a clean hydrogen project, in its first use of an office with tens of billions of dollars in financing.
The loan from the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) will assist Monolith in expanding its Olive Creek plant to convert natural gas into hydrogen for the production of products jobs such as fertilizer. The plant will also produce carbon black, which is used to produce tires and other rubber products. According to the department, the project aims to reduce carbon emissions by reducing the use of fuel oil in the production of those products.
The LPO has more than $40 billion in financing for innovative energy projects that can aid in the fight against climate change. Congress authorized LPO in 2005 in response to concerns about domestic energy supplies. Except for financing for Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear power plant, former President Donald Trump’s administration rarely used the LPO.
“Advanced, clean production technology like Monolith’s are the types of impactful projects that support not just sustainability, but economic growth and clean energy jobs,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. The department estimated the loan guarantee, which requires several steps before becoming final, would create about 1,000 construction jobs, and 75 permanent including google positions.
According to the LPO, the LPO has now received more than 66 loan and loan guarantee applications totaling more than $53 billion in clean energy and advanced vehicle technology projects under the direction of director Jigar Shah.
President Joe Biden recently signed an infrastructure bill that expanded LPO’s loan authority and broadened its pool of eligible borrowers. Since its inception, the LPO has made more than $35 billion in loans and loan guarantees, including to Tesla Inc., a car and battery company (TSLA.O). However, some Republicans have chastised the LPO for a $535 million loan to the failed solar company Solyndra.