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Posted on: October 18, 2021

Siloam Springs Awarded Bioeconomy Development Opportunity Zone

drone photo of Siloam Springs overlooking the potential industrial area

The City of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and Ecostrat are pleased to announce the issuance of a Bioeconomy Development Opportunity Zone (BDO Zone) designation. The ‘A’ Rating for poultry litter supply is expected to drive new market development for bioeconomy projects that can utilize the region’s more than 1.5 million tons per year of reliably produced poultry litter.

“The City of Siloam Springs became interested in the BDO Zone designation to potentially attract investments in new, green technologies in our community and improve the environment. The BDO Zone designation is an additional tool in the city’s economic development tool box. The “A” BDO Zone rating signifies to the biomass investment and development community that there is abundant feedstock and efficient infrastructure to support investment in a bioeconomic project, and reduces the risk of such investments. In addition, our region’s poultry industries have been implementing successful nutrient reduction strategies for a number of years, and the development of a biomass project will provide those industries with another valuable outlet for the by-product, which will, in turn, reduce nutrient runoff to our waterways from the land application of the poultry litter.” says Phillip Patterson, City Administrator.

A BDO Zone rating signals that the region has undergone rigorous and extensive due diligence using over 100 standardized, transparent, and validated risk indicators based on the BSCR Standards for biobased investment. “A” and “AA” BDO Zone Ratings identify areas in the country best positioned for low-risk bioeconomy project development. 

Jordan Solomon, CEO of Ecostrat, states: “The bottom line is that BDO Zone designations solve a big problem for communities, which is that many of them have strong biobased assets: tremendous surpluses of biomass, reliable suppliers, and good infrastructure to support an operating plant – but they don’t have the budget, the platform, or the credibility to communicate this to biobased investors and developers around the world. A BDO Zone designation changes all that.”

Siloam Springs also offers a Federal Opportunity Zone on the northeast side of the city where eligible new investments can take advantage of preferential tax benefits. Michelle Perez, Program Officer at Winrock International says: “Through the BDO designation, Siloam Springs is using an innovative and sustainable approach to leverage the value of its Opportunity Zone and of the assets generated in the region for community and economic development. Winrock International, through our Opportunity Arkansas project, is excited to continue working with Siloam Springs to develop investable projects that revitalize the local community.”

Investors and developers interested in siting a project in the Siloam Springs BDO Zone can tap into the Arkansas Opportunity Zone Fund to provide powerful tax incentives for new capital in eligible projects located in the OZ. Nick Andrews, CEO of USA BioEnergy and Arkansas Opportunity Zone Fund says: “We are excited to work with Ecostrat on the BDO Zone initiative to create clean jobs, bring economic development to distressed communities and make an impact on climate change.”

American biomass provides an economic development engine with the potential to create 160,000 jobs and nearly $15 billion of economic benefit. The BDO Zone Initiative can help the U.S. realize this potential by supporting new market development for American bioenergy, advanced biofuels, biobased heat and power, bio-materials, and clean hydrogen. For more information on the Siloam Springs, AR BDO Zone, or to read the full Risk Rating report, visit https://bdozone.org/.

 About Siloam Springs

The City of Siloam Springs, Arkansas is located in the northwest corner of the state in Benton County. The city has shared in the robust growth experienced within the two-county region of Northwest Arkansas (Benton and Washington Counties). The city is part of the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) which is classified as one of the fastest growing MSAs in the United States. In addition to Wal-Mart, Northwest Arkansas is also home to several other Fortune 500 companies including:

J. B. Hunt Transport Services and Tyson Foods. Siloam Springs is home to Simmons Foods, one of the largest privately owned companies in the State, along with several other manufacturing companies. Siloam Springs is also home to John Brown University, a private Christian college.

Geographically, Siloam Springs is in a unique position as it is approximately halfway between Tulsa, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas, lying on the principal route between both trade centers. The city’s proximity to Northwest Arkansas National Airport, has also contributed to its success and growth.

For more information, visit https://www.siloamsprings.com/ and https://whysiloam.com/. You can also directly email Phillip Patterson, City Administrator, at ppatterson@siloamsprings.com.

About Ecostrat:

Ecostrat’s Biomass Supply Group has over 20 years experience in sourcing and supplying over 5 million tons of biomass feedstock for bioenergy, biofuel, and biochemical projects across North America. Its Advisory Group combines the BSCR Standards with powerful predictive analytics to understand and minimize supply chain risk.

Jordan Solomon led the USDOE/BETO funded project to develop the new investment Standards and Ratings for Biomass Supply Chain Risk. He has overseen development and operation of biomass supply chains for over 5,000,000 tons of feedstock over two decades for bioenergy, biofuel, and biochemical projects. He can be reached at jordan.solomon@ecostrat.com

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.ecostrat.com/standards.

 About Arkansas Opportunity Zone Fund LLC

Fund Manager: USA BioEnergy, LLC

The mission of the Arkansas Opportunity Zone Fund is to create employment opportunities and economic stimulus in Arkansas. We plan to deepen value and expand opportunities in America’s Heartland through strategic development of biorefineries that convert woody biomass to renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuels, offering strong returns to both investors and the community.

The fund allows investors to take advantage of the new tax incentives offered for those who invest in qualified Opportunity Zones.

Fund Data Asset Classes: Qualified projects, Business, Real Estate Development specific to Renewable Energy Projects

Property Types: Biorefineries converting woody biomass or MSW into renewable diesel and/or sustainable aviation fuel and other qualified projects (chicken litter biodevelopment would qualify) Investment Locations: Arkansas

Fund Size: $5,000,000,000 Minimum Investment: $1,000,000

For more information, please contact Nick Andrews, CEO of USA BioEnergy at nick@USABioEnergy.com.

About Opportunity Arkansas/Winrock International

Opportunity Arkansas, an initiative of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Winrock International, builds the capacity of local leaders to develop investable projects that bolster small businesses and revitalize economically insecure and historically marginalized communities. Opportunity Arkansas provides an online avenue for citizens, community leaders, investors and others to learn about, search for, and submit Opportunity Zone projects in Arkansas. Opportunity Arkansas is funded by the Delta Regional Authority and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

For more information about Opportunity Arkansas, visit: www.opportunityarkansas.com If you’d like to connect with Opportunity Arkansas, email Michelle Perez, Program Officer for Winrock International, at michelle.perez@winrock.org.