Cellulosic ethanol producer Poet-DSM names first president 

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels LLC, which opened the Midwest’s first large-scale cellulosic ethanol plant last year in Iowa, today named its first president.

In the role, Dan Cummings will oversee day-to-day operations and coordinate activities between the joint venture’s two parent companies, ethanol giant Poet LLC and Dutch enzyme maker Royal DSM NV, according to a statement from the company.

Most recently, Cummings served as president and director of INEOS New Planet Bioenergy, a company that built a biorefinery in Florida to produce cellulosic ethanol from municipal solid waste. He also served as global vice president of commercial and external affairs for INEOS Bio.

He previously held other senior business, corporate and legal positions at INEOS and BP PLC, according to the statement. Cummings has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Puget Sound, a master of public administration from the University of Southern California and a law degree from Temple University.

“Dan has more than 25 years of experience in the energy sector, and we’re excited to have him leveraging that knowledge to grow cellulosic ethanol production for the world,” Jeff Lautt, chairman of the Poet-DSM board, said in the statement. “We look forward to Dan taking the reins and leading this joint venture into 2015.”

Poet and DSM formed their joint venture in early 2012. Last September, the company opened a 25-million-gallon plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa, to produce ethanol from the agricultural residues left on farm fields after the harvest (Greenwire, Sept. 4).

Based in Sioux Falls, S.D., Cummings will be overseeing the company as it attempts to expand its cellulosic ethanol operations beyond the initial plant. Poet-DSM plans to license its technology to third parties.