MARION, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) applauded the groundbreaking of a $120 million expansion at POET Biorefining-Marion today that will create jobs and double the size of the facility. A representative of Brown’s staff attended the groundbreaking at the ethanol refinery today. The expansion will support corn farmers, who provide corn for the plant. It will increase the demand for corn by 26 million bushels. Brown is a long-time supporter of sensible biofuel production that promotes Ohio agriculture and reduces the need for foreign oil.
“Renewable fuels have been a bright spot in an agriculture economy marked by low commodity prices and flat farm income,” said Brown. “With this announcement, POET Biorefining-Marion is not only creating good paying jobs in one of our most important sectors – it is leading the way for future use of biofuels in the ag sector.”
“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 $120 million investment will allow POET Biorefining – Marion to expand its ethanol 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 2018.