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POET breaks ground on Alexandria biorefinery expansion

US-based POET LLC, the world's largest corn ethanol producer, has held a ground-breaking ceremony marking the official construction start of an expansion project at its Alexandria biorefinery in Indiana (IN). The expansion will accommodate the production of purified alcohol, which is a plant-based, fundamental ingredient in hand sanitizer and other cleaning products.

On October 16, 2020, POET LLC, held a ground-breaking ceremony marking the official construction start of an expansion project at its Alexandria biorefinery in Indiana (IN). The expansion will accommodate the production of purified alcohol for use in hand sanitizers and other cleaning products (photo courtesy POET).

Announced by the company in August 2020, POET’s product will grow the availability of cleaner, greener purified alcohol options available to consumers, helping to alleviate a shortage that began with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

At POET, our mission is to be good stewards of the Earth by converting renewable resources into the products that humans need. This time, that need was hand sanitizer. With that in mind, our incredibly talented POET team worked around the clock to produce a brand new, plant-based, purified alcohol product in response to the unprecedented shortage of hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies that occurred as a result of the pandemic. Engineers, researchers, plant operators, and many others came together to create a clean, green sanitizer product that can help protect our families, our communities, and our frontline workers, said Matt Braun, SVP and General Manager at POET during the ceremony.

POET Biorefining Alexandria began full operations in April 2008 and the state-of-the-art ethanol and animal feed production facility produces 68 million (US) gallons (≈257.4 million litres) of ethanol annually using locally grown corn.

You have turned and burned to meet this moment, not just for our state but for our nation. You are supplying the healthcare industry and our frontline workers who are being stressed and pulled in a lot of different directions to meet the needs of this war that we’re waging on this virus that’s spreading all over the country. We wouldn’t be able to meet that moment without POET and our Hoosier farmers that are supplying you with the products that you need. It’s truly a win, win scenario, said Indiana Governor Eric Holcolmb at the facility’s ground breaking event.

Slated for completion in early 2021, work on the US$25 million investment has officially commenced and expected to generate 50+ construction jobs and 6 new full-time jobs once completed. The new unit will produce up to 35 million gallons (≈ 132 million litres) per annum of purified alcohol suitable for the healthcare and cleaning sectors.

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