President Trump’s recent announcement about his plan to allow year-round E15 sales has spurred some industry expansion. Biofuel giant POET believes that President Trump will follow through on his promise, and the company has announced that it’s building a new biofuel facility.
Todd Neely of DTNPF reported on POET’s plans for a new biofuel facility. The President’s E15 announcement inspired POET, a South Dakota based biofuels company, to expand their production capacity. Their new $160 million facility just received final permit approval and is set to move forward.
According to a recent press release, POET will build the facility in Shelbyville, Indiana. They expect it to be fully operational in 2020. The company is already the world’s largest biofuel producer, and has the capacity to produce 2 billion gallons of biofuel a year. The Shelbyville location will be the 28th biofuel facility in their network.
POET said that the new plant will feature “state-of-the-art” environmental controls and production processes. It will utilize Total Water Recovery, a process that eliminates water discharge. It will also use POET’s patented BPX process, which lowers energy use and increases yield.
POET CEO Jeff Broin is optimistic.
“This is the right project in the right location at the right time.”
Timing Helps Farmers
Mike McGinnis of Successful Farming reports that the plant will create 45 full-time jobs with a $2 million annual payroll. They plan to start hiring in the spring of 2019. It will create $110 million in additional local corn purchases. Broin added,
“Farmers desperately need the income boost from this new market for grain, and President Trump’s recent announcement of year-round E15 sales has the biofuels industry poised for new growth and prosperity. Shelbyville is leading the way for future production to meet new E15 demand. We’re excited to partner yet again with Indiana to create a cleaner, healthier environment for our children and grandchildren.”
The executive director of the Shelby County Development Corp, Brian Asher, says the plant is an important tool for the the county’s economic development.
“POET’s project provides jobs right here in Shelby county, but its indirect effects will extend well beyond that,” he said. “This boosts income for farmers, expands the tax base and circulates new dollars across the entire economy.”
POET believes that selling E15 nationwide has huge potential. It could add 7 billion gallons of biofuel demand and 2 billion bushels of corn demand. Farm incomes have dropped over the past five years with low crop prices. POET says that creating more demand for corn will help the economies of communities that rely on agriculture.
Regulations Need to Change
POET is trusting that President Trump will be able to implement his year-round E15 directive as promised. He is pushing the EPA fix outdated regulations that limit the availability of the fuel. If Trump is able to follow through, demand for E15 will increase.
But industry experts predict that year-round E15 sales won’t impact ethanol demand too much.
With Republicans controlling all three branches of government, changes to EPA regulations should be possible. Though year-round sales of E15 may not have a hugely significant impact on demand, the move pleases many farmers. Trump is carrying out his promises of getting rid of burdensome government regulations. He’s also making efforts to create new markets for farmers’ crops, just as the trade war with China really starts to ramp up. POET is betting that Trump can get the job done.
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Additionally, “Should We Be Bullish On Corn?“.