Novozymes Opening Benefits from Clean Energy Incentive

Secretary Tom Vilsack

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack used the opening of Novozymes’ enzyme plant in Nebraska this week to make the case for expanding clean energy manufacturing tax incentives. The company will produce enzymes from solid waste, corn stover and switch grass to supply some of the first advanced biorefineries.

Vilsack said one of the ways Novozymes made the project work was by taking full advantage of the 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit. President of Novozymes Adam Monroe agreed.

“This is a $200 million investment that we made,” he explained. “In addition the U.S. supported us with $28.4 million in the tax credit, roughly ten percent of the after-tax cost of the plant. But what it really did for us is in the middle of a rather shaky global economy, it allowed us some confidence to speed up the construction process, and it allowed us to build this plant so it was quickly able to expand. So we put flexibility into the construction so as this market grows it won’t take us two years to add additional capacity.”

Vilsack said offering the 48C and other tax credits for new clean energy facilities offers three specific benefits.

“First of all this clean energy future absolutely will increase farm income. There’s no question about it. It provides opportunity for products in the past that have had little or no value to become a commodity and ultimately an ingredient in a new clean energy future. Secondly it is a job creator.”

And the third is a continued reduction in reliance on foreign oil.

President Obama has asked Congress to pass a bill to continue and expand the 48C program with $5 billion in additional credits, and a continuation and expansion of the Production Tax Credit for wind and other renewable energy generation. The administration has also asked for a continuation and expansion of the accelerated depreciation for cellulosic ethanol and the biodiesel tax credit.[audio:|titles=Novozymes opens enzymes plant]

Both Vilsack and Monroe addressed the media Thursday, and their audio statements are here:[audio:|titles=Tom Vilsack and Adam Monroe]

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