A celebration of full-scale construction of Project LIBERTY

POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels hold formal groundbreaking for cellulosic ethanol plant

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

EMMETSBURG, Iowa – POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels today celebrated the start of full-scale construction on Project LIBERTY with a formal groundbreaking ceremony in Emmetsburg, Iowa.

Representatives from POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels as well as government leaders including Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad met this morning to announce the groundbreaking. A formal ceremony took place later at the site, which is adjacent to POET Biorefining – Emmetsburg.

Project LIBERTY is a planned commercial cellulosic ethanol plant that will use corn cobs, leaves, husk and some stalk to produce ethanol. It is scheduled to open in 2013. A 22-acre stackyard is completed, and the company has done preliminary site work in advance of the formal start of full construction.

The groundbreaking marked a significant milestone in the company’s quest to be one of the first to commercialize cellulosic ethanol, POET President Jeff Lautt said. It’s the next step in an effort that has spanned more than a decade.

“POET has been a leader in growing the corn ethanol industry to approximately 10 percent of America’s automobile fuel supply,” Lautt said. “Right here in Emmetsburg, we want to build on that foundation and develop another renewable, domestic alternative to foreign oil, something we believe America needs.”

Stephan Tanda, Member of the Managing Board of Royal DSM, introduced DSM to the Emmetsburg community and commented: “DSM is a living example of the transformation from a petroleum based economy to a bio-based economy. By joining forces with innovative growers and entrepreneurs right here in Iowa we all together are pioneering new value chains that produce fuel and eventually also chemicals and advanced materials from sustainable, renewable resources.”

POET and Royal DSM entered into a joint-venture agreement in January to form POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels. The two companies each hold a 50 percent share in the joint venture.

Gov. Branstad said the state of Iowa is well-positioned to build on its strength in biofuels production.

“This groundbreaking today is a great example of a project that leverages Iowa’s unique strength in agriculture and renewable fuels production to create another new product for the renewable energy marketplace,” Branstad said. “Iowa’s biofuels industries have added $6 billion to Iowa’s economy, generated $3.7 billion in household income and created and supported 82,000 Iowa jobs. The regional economic benefits of this project are significant. This is a facility that will require highly-skilled workers and create high-paying jobs.”

While construction is underway, POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels continues to establish the feedstock logistics for processing approximately 770 dry tons per day of corn cobs, leaves, husks and some stalk at the plant during full scale operations. Many farmers in attendance played a part in harvesting 61,000 tons of biomass for Project LIBERTY last fall. That work will continue during the 2012 harvest season.

About POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, LLC
POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, LLC, is a 50/50 joint venture between Royal DSM and POET, LLC. Based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the company is a cooperative effort of two innovators that provides a key to unlocking the opportunity of converting corn crop residue into cellulosic bio-ethanol. Built on the strengths of both companies the joint venture has a critical mission: to make cellulosic bio-ethanol competitive with corn ethanol, the most competitive renewable liquid transportation fuel on the US market today. Drawing on the deep expertise and experience of POET and DSM in different areas of converting cellulosic biomass into ethanol, POET - DSM Advanced Biofuels will have its first commercial-scale plant co-located with POET' Biorefining -- Emmetsburg in Emmetsburg, Iowa. Based on this plant the JV plans to globally license an integrated technology package for the conversion of corn crop residue to cellulosic bio-ethanol. More information:

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