As the administration of U.S. President Donald J. Trump works to relax regulations surrounding the use of E15 ethanol fuel, Sioux Falls, SD-based biofuels producer POET LLC announced plans last Friday to construct a new, $160 million ethanol production plant in Shelbyville, IN.
The company said it recently recurred permit approval for the site and commenced construction. When building reaches completion in spring 2020, the plant will have a capacity of 80 million gal/yr.
“Farmers desperately need the income boost from this new market for grain, and Pres. Trump’s recent announcement of year-round E15 sales has the biofuels industry poised for new growth and prosperity,” the firm’s chief executive officer, Jeff Broin, said in a company press release. “Shelbyville is leading the way for future production to meet new E15 demand.”
About 45 full-time jobs will be created when the new plant opens and the company expects to spend some $110 million a year on corn from area producers within a 30-mile radius of the site. Hiring is slated to begin in early 2019.
POET said that the Trump administration’s push to make E15 available during the whole year will lift annual demand for the biofuel by about 7 billion gallons, translating to about 2 billion additional bushels of corn sourced from American farmers.
“This boosts income for farmers, expands the tax base, and circulates new dollars across the entire economy,” Shelby County Development Corporation Executive Director Brian Asher said in a statement.
This September, Powder & Bulk Solids reported that POET completed a $120 million expansion project at its Marion, OH biorefinery.