Poet Biorefining – Marion broke ground Aug. 15 to expand its production capacity from 70 million gallons per year to 150 million gallons per year. The project will also increase production of dried distillers grains from the current 178,000 tons annually to 360,000 tons. With the groundbreaking, site work has officially begun, with project completion slated for Q3 of 2018.
“This expansion will add 26 million bushels of new corn demand annually for the local area and create new jobs and economic activity for rural Ohio,” Poet CEO Jeff Broin said. “In recent years, I know farmers are struggling with low commodity prices, which is creating lower farm incomes and decreasing land values. Biofuels have been the only real growth sector for ag commodities in the past decade. We will need to see biofuels increase as a percentage of the US and world fuel supply, and as a percentage of our gas tanks to stabilize worldwide ag prices and land values. We are excited that the Marion plant expansion can play a small role in this important arena.”
This expansion is the largest project in the Marion area since the construction of the original Poet Biorefining – Marion in 2008. The $120 million project will have a profound impact on the local economy, including 225 temporary construction jobs and 18-21 new permanent jobs at the site. It also adds new corn demand at a time farmers sorely need support.
Ohio leaders, farmers and area residents joined Poet in today’s celebration. Tuesday was officially named “Poet Day” by the Marion City Council, and hundreds of people were on hand to hear remarks from Poet and political leaders.
Poet also provided opportunities for biofuel supporters to weigh in on the recent EPA proposal that would lower the overall biofuel volumes blended into the U.S. fuel supply. Attendees could write comments to the EPA outlining their personal experiences with the benefits of biofuels production.