Thursday, October 4, 2007
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (October 4, 2007) – POET and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that they have signed a cooperative agreement for a commercial cellulosic ethanol project in Emmetsburg, Iowa. The agreement finalizes the first phase of a DOE award that was announced in February and will govern all aspects of the project leading up to construction. With the agreement in place, POET will move forward on project preliminary design and engineering, environmental engineering, biomass collection and other activities.
According to the cooperative agreement, phase one of the project will last approximately 20 months. A subsequent phase two agreement will then be negotiated to cover construction which is expected to take two years. Following construction, facility operation is expected to begin in 2011.
Along with five other companies, POET was selected in February by the DOE to negotiate a joint funding relationship to construct a commercial cellulosic ethanol production facility. POET’s award is up to $80 million and can’t exceed 40 percent of the project’s total cost.
Project Liberty, POET’s cellulosic project, will convert an existing 50 million gallon per year (mgpy) dry-mill ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa into an integrated corn-to-ethanol and cellulose-to-ethanol biorefinery. Once complete, the facility will produce 125 mgpy, 25 percent of which will be from corn fiber and corn cobs. By adding cellulosic production to an existing grain ethanol plant, POET will be able to produce 11 percent more ethanol from a bushel of corn, 27 percent more from an acre of corn, while almost completely eliminating fossil fuel consumption and decreasing water usage by 24 percent.
In June, POET announced that Jim Sturdevant, a 22-year veteran of the US Geological Survey, will serve as director of the project and that they had successfully produced cellulosic ethanol from corn cobs. POET has purchased additional land adjacent to their Emmetsburg production facility in order to accommodate construction of the cellulosic facility.
POET, the largest dry mill ethanol producer in the United States, is an established leader in the biorefining industry through project development, design and construction, research and development, plant management, and marketing. Formerly known as Broin, the 20-year old company currently operates 21 production facilities in the United States with six more in construction or in the midst of expansion. The company produces and markets more than 1.1 billion gallons of ethanol annually. For more information, go to http://www.poetenergy.com.
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