POET Biorefining – Marion (Ohio) is undergoing an expansion to more than double its capacity from nearly 70 million gal. per year to 150 million gal. per year, improving the grain market for local farmers and adding new jobs to the community. With the expansion, high-protein animal feed production will also grow from 178,000 tons to approximately 360,000 tons annually.
“As more drivers choose E15 fuel across the country and biofuel demand increases, growth opportunities such as this and new technologies to lower fuel emissions will follow,” said Jeff Lautt, president of POET Biorefining. “POET is hopeful that, among other issues, summer limitations on 15% biofuel blends will be lifted so that consumers have greater access to clean, homegrown biofuels.”
With the Marion facility's expanded production, corn purchases from area farmers will increase from the current 24 million bu. to approximately 50 million bu. annually, improving the grain market for farmers at a time when agriculture is facing challenging commodity prices, farm incomes and land values. POET currently spends more than $330 million on Ohio corn annually.
“Marion proved to be the perfect location for this expansion,” general manager Rick Fox said. “We have a strong partnership with this community, there is a talented workforce here and the state of Ohio is a strong agricultural state and steadfast supporter of biofuels. This plant has continuously been a top performer with a creative, hard-working team, and we’re excited to be the site for POET’s largest expansion ever.”
The project will cost approximately $120 million and will provide more than 225 construction-related jobs and 18-21 new permanent jobs for the area. Site work is planned to begin this summer, with a construction start in the fall and completion estimated for the third quarter of 2018.
“I’m so excited that POET has announced the expansion of their Marion facility,” said Keith Truckor, chair of the Ohio corn checkoff. “Demand for clean-burning, Ohio-made ethanol is growing, and that means demand for Ohio corn is up, too. We’re so fortunate to have POET operating here. Ethanol production in Ohio is helping our environment, creating jobs and helping Ohio’s hard-working farmers.”
“This expansion is a boon not only for the Marion community but also for all of the farmers in the area who will see a growing market for their grain,” said Gus Comstock, chief executive officer of the Greater Marion Community Area New Development Organization. “POET’s growth is just another example of the expanding opportunities and phenomenal workforce available in this community.”