The world’s largest biofuels producer POET, headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D., is looking to expand its portfolio to tackle the sanitizer shortage which the company had begun to focus on during the pandemic.
POET executives, Indiana policymakers and members of the Alexandria community joined together Oct. 15 to break ground on an expansion at POET Biorefining-Alexandria. The expansion will accommodate the production of purified alcohol, which is a plant-based, fundamental ingredient in hand sanitizer and other cleaning products.
POET’s product will grow the availability of cleaner, greener purified alcohol options available to consumers, helping to alleviate a shortage that began with the COVID-19 pandemic. The $25 million local investment will create six new fulltime jobs, 50 plus construction jobs and add 30-35 million gallons of annual production of purified alcohol.
“At POET, our mission is to be good stewards of the Earth by converting renewable resources into bio-based alternatives to fossil fuel,” said Matt Braun, senior vice president and general manager at POET. “With this in mind, a team at POET got together and worked around the clock to create a brand new, plant-based purified alcohol product. Purified alcohol is a fundamental component of hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies, which saw unprecedented shortages earlier this year.”
“You have turned and burned to meet this moment, not just for our state but for our nation,” said Indiana Governor Eric Holcolmb at the facility’s groundbreaking event. “You are supplying the healthcare industry and our frontline workers who are being stressed and pulled in a lot of different directions to meet the needs of this war that we're waging on this virus that's spreading all over the country. We wouldn't be able to meet that moment without POET and our Hoosier farmers that are supplying you with the products that you need. It’s truly a win, win scenario.”
With this groundbreaking, the site work officially begins. The project is slated for completion in early 2021.