Economic Message of the Week: DOE Loan Guarantee to Mercury-Cutting Company

The Department of Energy has announced the offer of a loan guarantee to a manufacturer of equipment to reduce some of the most harmful byproducts associated with a dirty fuel source.

Red River Environmental Products, based in Louisiana, will receive the $245 million conditional loan guarantee to build an activated carbon manufacturing center to reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.

"By reducing pollution from power plants, we can create good new jobs and clean up the air we breathe and water we drink," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement. "We are at the beginning of a new Industrial Revolution in energy technologies, and America must seize this opportunity to lead the world in making these important advances."

The loan guarantee is the fourth issued by the Obama administration in 2009 under a loan guarantee program endorsed by a 2005 energy bill to support advanced low-carbon energy technology development while protecting U.S. taxpayer money. As a loan guarantee recipient, Red River Environmental Products joins corporations working on wind turbines, energy storage, and other new energy ventures.

Red River's manufacturing center will produce activated carbon using advanced pollution control equipment while using less water than conventional plants. The company will power the facility with waste heat, and could send enough excess electricity back to the grid and to power 13,000 homes.

Published: December 17, 2009