The Missouri Corn Merchandising Council (MCMC) is stepping up to strengthen the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) Biofuel Infrastructure Program (BIP) for transportation and fuel facilities.
In conjunction with recently announced federal and state programs, Missouri’s corn checkoff will provide matching funds to increase the availability of higher ethanol blends in the state.
To qualify, fuel retailers must first be approved for the USDA Rural Development’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP), followed by approval of the MASBDA BIP program. The state BIP program has dedicated up to $2 million in grant funds that may be used to fulfill up to 25% of the cash match obligation required for the HBIIP. The maximum MASBDA grant award is $200,000 for each business entity selected for funding by HBIIP. MCMC will then match the grant funds up to a total of $500,000 statewide to increase access to ethanol blends above 10%.
“The Missouri Corn board of directors enthusiastically voted to match existing resources with the goal of increasing statewide demand for locally produced corn-based ethanol,” said MCMC Chairman Greg Schneider, a corn grower from Warrenton. “This creates a three-step process for fuel retailers to upgrade their pumps by first utilizing federal grant dollars through HBIIP, then at the state level through the MASBDA BIP program, and finally additional funding through MCMC. However, applications must be received by July 1, 2020, so we are encouraging station owners to act quickly.”
Eligible entities for the BIP grants and MCMC funding mirror federal HBIIP requirements and include fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket retailer fueling stations, fleet facilities, and similar entities with capital investments.
The final amount awarded by MCMC will be based on MASBDA BIP grants. To be considered, a project’s sole purpose must be for the installation, retrofitting, and/or otherwise upgrading of fuel dispensers, pumps, attached equipment, underground storage tank system components, and other infrastructure to ensure availability of ethanol blends greater than 10 percent. There are six ethanol plants across the state producing approximately 300 million gallons of ethanol and 825,000 tons of distillers grains, an important livestock feed ingredient rich in protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. These local biorefineries provide quality jobs and generate significant contributions to the state and community tax bases.