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POET to invest US$120 million to double capacity at Marion, OH

POET LLC has announced that it's investing about US$120 million to over double the current annual production capacity of nearly 70 million US gallons (≈ 265 million litres) to 150 million US gallons (≈ 568 million litres) at its Marion, Ohio corn ethanol facility. Scheduled for completion in the latter half of 2018, the plant expansion will also enable increased production of high-protein animal feed, from 178 000 tons (≈ 161 479 tonnes) to approximately 360 000 tons (≈ 326 586 tonnes) annually.

POET is investing around US$120 million to double capacity at its Marion, OH corn ethanol facility (photo courtesy POET). plant

One of the world’s largest ethanol producers, US-based POET LLC has announced that it is investing around US$120 million to over double the current annual production capacity of nearly 70 million US gallons (≈ 265 million litres) to 150 million US gallons (≈ 568 million litres) at its Marion, Ohio corn ethanol facility. The expansion will also enable the plant to increase its production of high-protein animal feed, from 178 000 short tons (≈ 161 479 tonnes) to approximately 360 000 short tons (≈ 326 586 tonnes) annually.

As more drivers choose E15 fuel across the country and biofuels demand increases, growth opportunities such as this and new technologies to lower fuel emissions will follow. POET is hopeful that, among other issues, summer limitations on 15 percent biofuel blends will be lifted so that consumers have greater access to clean, homegrown biofuels, said Jeff Lautt, President of POET Biorefining in a statement.

With the increased production, corn purchases from area farmers will grow from the current 24 million bushels (≈ 609 632 tonnes) to approximately 50 million bushels (≈ 1.27 million tonnes) annually, improving the grain market for farmers at a time when agriculture is facing challenging commodity prices, farm incomes and land values. The company currently spends over US$330 million on Ohio corn annually.

I’m so excited that POET has announced the expansion of their Marion facility. Demand for clean-burning Ohio-made ethanol is growing and that means demand for Ohio corn is up, too. We’re so fortunate to have POET operating here. Ethanol production in Ohio is helping our environment, creating jobs, and helping Ohio’s hard-working farmers, said Keith Truckor, Chair of the Ohio Corn Checkoff.

According to a statement, the project will cost approximately US$120 million and provide more than 225 construction-related jobs and 18-21 new permanent jobs for the area.

This expansion is a boon not only for the Marion community but also for all of the farmers in the area who will see a growing market for their grain. POET’s growth is just another example of the expanding opportunities and phenomenal workforce available in this community, said Gus Comstock, CEO of the Greater Marion Community Area New Development Organization.

Site work is planned to begin this summer with a construction start in the fall and completion estimated for Q3 2018.

Marion proved to be the perfect location for this expansion. We have a strong partnership with this community, there is a talented workforce here, and the state of Ohio is a strong agricultural state and steadfast supporter of biofuels. This plant has continuously been a top-performer with a creative, hard-working team, and we’re excited to be the site for Poet’s largest expansion ever, said Rick Fox, General Manager at POET Marion.

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