Poet's Project LIBERTY receives $14 million

By Erin Voegele | September 08, 2008
Web exclusive posted Sept. 15, 2008 at 9:37 a.m. CST

Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Poet LLC announced Sept. 11 that the Iowa Power Fund has committed $14 million to Project LIBERTY, Poet's commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facility in Emmetsburg, Iowa. Project LIBERTY will expand the facility's corn-based ethanol production from 50 MMgy to 100 MMgy and add 25 MMgy of cellulosic ethanol capacity. The cellulosic ethanol will be produced using corn cobs and corn fiber.

In their application to the Power Fund, Poet showcased how the project can benefit the state of Iowa - creating at least 35 new jobs and providing local farmers with a place to sell corn cobs. It's estimated that corn cobs, which are currently valued at $30 per ton to $60 per ton, could increase farmers' revenue by $5.4 million to $10.8 million.

Poet's long-term plans include adding cellulosic ethanol production to the company's six other ethanol facilities in Iowa and it may license its cellulosic technology to other biorefineries in Iowa. In the long-term, these actions could create 2,700 additional new jobs throughout the state and farmers could earn up to $300 million through the sale of corn cobs.

Construction on Project LIBERTY is expected to begin in 2009, with operations beginning in 2011.