Iowa Finalizes Cellulosic Partnership with Poet

Poet CEO Jeff Broin said this week that the Iowa Power Fund Board has approved a US $14.75 million contract with Poet for development of a commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa.

“Iowa is already the nation’s leading producer of clean, green ethanol, and the action today by the Iowa Power Fund Board demonstrates their commitment to making Iowa the leader in next-generation ethanol as well,” Broin said. “We look forward to continuing this strong partnership that creates good jobs and weans our country off its dependence on foreign sources of oil.”

In 2008, Poet and the Iowa Power Fund Board agreed to terms regarding the project. This approval has finalized those terms. The project, known as Project Liberty, will add 25 million gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol production capacity to an existing grain-to-ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa.

The project is jointly funded by Poet, the United States Department of Energy and the state of Iowa and is scheduled to begin production in 2011. Project Liberty represents a $200 million capital investment in Emmetsburg and at least 30 additional jobs at the plant. Farmers in the Emmetsburg area will see an increase in revenue of $5.4-10.8 million.

Poet anticipates adding cellulosic ethanol production to its six other facilities in the state of Iowa, which would represent an additional capital investment of $2 billion and create 2,700 new jobs. For the farmers of Iowa, it presents an opportunity for $150-300 million in revenue from an agricultural waste product.

To see a documentary that Poet produced about its pilot cellulosic ethanol plant, technology from which will be used in Project Liberty, play the video below.

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