Subscribe Today! Please read: Readers of local content on the Herald and News website – – will require a subscription beginning today. For the first few months, non-subscribers will still be able to view 10 articles for free. If you are not already a subscriber, now is a great time to join for as little as $10/month!

Red Rock Biofuels announced Tuesday it has signed two agreements with Lake County and is moving forward with its $200 million biofuel facility in Lakeview.

Red Rock Biofuels, a developer of renewable jet and diesel bio-refineries, has jointly signed a Long-term Rural Enterprise Zone Agreement with Lake County and the city of Lakeview, and a Natural Gas Capacity Sharing Agreement with Lake County, according to a news release.

The rural enterprise agreement designates Red Rock’s site as an Enterprise Zone and exempts the corporation from property taxes being assessed on new plant and equipment. Once the facility is in service, the tax exemption applies for 15 years, the release said. In lieu of property taxes, Red Rock will provide a yearly community service fee to the city and county.

As part of its project development, Red Rock will construct an roughly 3-mile-long natural gas pipeline from the Ruby pipeline, which runs south of Lakeview, to its site off Highway 395. The natural gas agreement grants the county access to extra capacity on Red Rock’s natural gas pipeline, the release said.

Red Rock plans to convert waste biomass from forests and sawmills into jet, diesel and naphtha fuels at its proposed Lakeview refinery. The refinery will convert about 140,000 dry tons of woody biomass into 12 million gallons per year of renewable, liquid transportation fuels. The fuels will be transported by the Lake Railroad and transferred to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.

According to the release, Red Rock will employ 31 full-time employees and pay an above average wage. Red Rock estimates more than 80 indirect jobs will be created, mainly in-forest jobs for forest management activities, and biomass collection and transport.

“I am very encouraged by Red Rock’s selection of Lake County for their biorefinery. The 31 direct jobs at the plant and approximately 80 indirect jobs created as a result of Red Rock’s project will be monumental contributions to the economic development of Lake County,” said Lake County Commissioner Brad Winters.

“Likewise, Red Rock’s project will be instrumental in improving forest health and reducing the risk and severity of forest fires on both public and private lands in Lake County.”

Southwest Airlines and FedEx have each agreed to purchase about 3 million gallons per year of Red Rock’s low-carbon, renewable jet fuel. Lengths of the fuel contracts differ, but deliveries are expected to begin in 2017.