POET today opened its 27th ethanol plant and fourth plant in Indiana, POET Biorefining -- Cloverdale, in a grand opening event that included ethanol industry and government leaders, area farmers, new team members and residents of Cloverdale, Ind. The event represents an important milestone: The new ethanol capacity helps Indiana's total ethanol production top 1 billion gallons, an important development goal set by state leaders.
"This is an exciting day for POET and the Cloverdale area," POET CEO Jeff Broin said. "New jobs, new revenue for area farmers and the chance to expand POET's business to provide more renewable fuel make this a win for everyone involved. And with oil prices shooting to new heights due to unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, the need for domestic ethanol production has never been more evident. I'm excited to be part of the solution along with everyone here today."
Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman said Indiana's ethanol production has been good for the Hoosier economy.
"Indiana is doing its part to ease our reliance on foreign oil," Lt. Gov. Skillman said. "With the help of companies like POET, we will continue to create homegrown energy while giving an economic boost to rural Indiana."
POET purchased the 90 million-gallon-per-year ethanol plant, which begins production next week, from Altra Biofuels in June 2010. Since then, the company has been busy installing about $30 million in upgrades, including BPX(R), POET's patented fermentation process that uses enzymes instead of heat and POET's Total Water Recovery system that cuts wastewater discharge. That technology and other additions make POET Biorefining -- Cloverdale one of the most energy and water efficient plants in the industry.
"We've been purchasing grain from area farmers in anticipation of startup, and it's already clear that this is going to be a great partnership," POET Biorefining -- Cloverdale General Manager Dave Brooks said. "This is a state-of-the-art ethanol plant representing the latest in POET technology. It is both energy- and cost-efficient, and it's exciting to be able to start up operations."
POET Biorefining -- Cloverdale facts:
- Opened and operated under Altra Biofuels for a short time in 2008; purchased by POET in 2010
- Capacity: 90 million gallons per year
- Rail: CSX
- Annual corn consumption: 31 million bushels
- Dakota Gold Brand DDGS produced annually: 246,500 tons
- Jobs at the plant: 43 FTE (over 90% local)
- Annual Payroll and Benefits: more than $2 million