POET to Reopen, Invest in Cloverdale, Indiana, Ethanol Plant

Source: By Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor • Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2022

POET announced on Wednesday that the company will invest $30 million and reopen its ethanol production facility in Cloverdale, Indiana, “after federal and state policymakers took action to safeguard markets for low-carbon fuels,” the company stated.

POET, the world’s largest ethanol producer, had idled the Cloverdale facility in 2019 “in part to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s mismanagement of small refinery exemptions (SREs). This created an artificial cap on domestic demand for bioethanol and drove RIN (Renewable Identification Numbers) values to near-zero, which weakened the incentive for retailers to offer higher biofuel blends.”

The plant reopening in 2023 will create 50 local jobs and use 34 million bushels of corn annually, POET stated. The investments in new technology to improve the efficiency of the plant also will boost Cloverdale’s production capacity from 80 million gallons a year to 95 million gallons of ethanol.

“We are very excited to be reopening our Cloverdale facility,” said Jeff Broin, POET’s founder and CEO. “The plant will undergo significant upgrades to include the same industry-leading advantages operating at other POET plants, and we are confident it will be a strong asset to the POET portfolio. We are grateful to the Putnam County Council and the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation for supporting this investment.”

POET noted the Biden administration “has made great strides in showing support for biofuels, most notably with a waiver enacted in April lifting outdated restrictions on E15, a 15 percent bioethanol blend, to help curtail skyrocketing prices at the pump.”

Along with that, POET cited that Indiana’s Senate had sustained Gov. Eric Holcomb’s veto of “anti-E15 legislation” in March. Indiana’s support for E15 “was a key factor in POET’s decision to reinvest in the state, the company stated.

More details can be found at www.poet.com/cloverdale

Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com

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