September 20 (Renewables Now) - Major ethanol producer Poet LLC on Tuesday cut the ribbon on an 80-million (302.8 litre) gallon expansion at its ethanol plant in Marion, Ohio.
The USD-120-million (EUR 102m) project, which broke ground last summer, boosted POET Biorefining Marion's annual capacity to 150 million gallons of ethanol and 360,000 tonnes of high-protein animal feed.
The company noted that the expansion will increase corn demand for local farmers. According to chief executive Jeff Broin, the answer to the challenges farmers face due to low commodity prices is E15, a 15% biofuel blend that is currently only approved for use in the US from September to June.
"We can reinvigorate the rural economy with more investments like this when Americans finally get the freedom to buy E15 year-round," he said.
In contrasting news, Ergon Inc last week said it will pull the plug on an ethanol plant in Mississippi, while Green Plains Inc (NASDAQ:GPRE) was on Monday reported to be closing two ethanol facilities in Iowa amid weak profit margins.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.850)