Poet beefs up production at Ohio-based bioethanol facility
US biofuels producer Poet has announced that its Marion, Ohio-based bioethanol facility has expanded its production capacity from 70 million gallons per year to 150 million gallons per year.
The project will also increase production of dried distillers grains from the current 178,000 tons annually to 360,000 tons, according to the company. With the groundbreaking, site work has officially begun, with project completion slated for Q3 of 2018.
“This expansion will add 26 million bushels of new corn demand annually for the local area and create new jobs and economic activity for rural Ohio," Poet CEO Jeff Broin said. “In recent years, I know farmers are struggling with low commodity prices, which is creating lower farm incomes and decreasing land values.”
He added: “Biofuels have been the only real growth sector for ag commodities in the past decade. We will need to see biofuels increase as a percentage of the US and world fuel supply, and as a percentage of our gas tanks to stabilize worldwide ag prices and land values. We are excited that the Marion plant expansion can play a small role in this important arena."
This expansion is the largest project in the Marion area since the construction of the original Poet Biorefining – Marion in 2008. The $120 million project will have a profound impact on the local economy, including 225 temporary construction jobs and 18-21 new permanent jobs at the site. It also adds new corn demand at a time farmers sorely need support.
Ohio leaders, farmers and area residents joined Poet in today’s (16/08/17) celebration. Tuesday was officially named “POET Day” by the Marion City Council, and hundreds of people were on hand to hear remarks from Poet and political leaders.
Comments from Ohio leaders on the Poet Biorefining – Marion expansion: “Renewable fuels have been a bright spot in an agriculture economy marked by low commodity prices and flat farm income,” Sen. Sherrod Brown said. “With this announcement, Poet Biorefining-Marion is not only creating good paying jobs in one of our most important sectors – it is leading the way for future use of biofuels in the ag sector.”
“I’m excited that Poet is expanding in Marion County, doubling its capacity, and growing jobs in the region,” Sen. Rob Portman said.
“Poet’s expansion will create even more market opportunities for Ohio’s producers and help the state’s number one industry, food and agriculture, continue to grow,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David T. Daniels. “Agribusinesses recognise Ohio’s growth environment and ultimately all Ohioans – consumers and farmers – benefit from this growth.”
“The Fourth District grows things and makes things, and Poet’s expansion in Marion will help us keep doing just that,” Rep. Jim Jordan said. “We're proud of all the great work being done at the plant, and of all the local farmers supplying it. I look forward to seeing the completed plant next year.”
“Poet Marion is the center of the manufacturing universe today, Tuesday, August 15, 2017,” said Gus Comstock, CEO of the Greater Marion Community Area New Development Organization. “The first shovel turned is another indication of Marion’s re-emergence as a manufacturing powerhouse. Not to be confused with yesteryear’s manufacturing, Marion is now a center of high tech manufacturing and a dedicated and skilled workforce.”
In a statement, Poet said that it also provided opportunities for biofuel supporters to weigh in on the recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal that would lower the overall biofuel volumes blended into the US fuel supply. Attendees could write comments to the EPA outlining their personal experiences with the benefits of biofuels production.
This story was written by Liz Gyekye, editor of Biofuels International.
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