USA—POET, a U.S. biofuel company that specializes in the creation of bioethanol, will be reopening its bioprocessing facility in Cloverdale, Indiana, after federal and state policymakers took action to safeguard domestic markets for low-carbon biofuels.

Restarting the Cloverdale facility will bring POET’s network to a total of 34 bioprocessing plants across eight Midwest states, five of which are located in Indiana.

“POET’s bioprocessing plants produce low-cost, low-carbon biofuels, bioCO2, high-protein animal feed and a growing suite of other bioproducts from American grain,” said Jeff Broin, POET 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,” he added.

POET is planning to invest US$30 million in new technology to create operational efficiencies that will position the facility for long-term success and increase its annual production rate from 80 million to 95 million gallons of bioethanol.

“Agriculture is at the backbone of Indiana’s economy,” said Congressman Jim Baird. “Bioprocessing, ethanol, and other biofuel facilities play an integral role in supporting rural jobs and strengthening local economies across Indiana and the Midwest.”

With operations set to begin in 2023, the facility will create 50 full-time local jobs and generate demand for 34 million bushels of corn from Indiana farmers annually.

Broin added that “These facilities are good for farmers, good for rural communities, and good for the world, and we look forward to the positive impacts POET – Cloverdale will create in the years to come”.

The facility has been idle since October 2019 due in part to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s mismanagement of small refinery exemptions.

POET said this created an artificial cap on domestic demand for bioethanol and drove RIN values to near-zero, which weakened the incentive for retailers to offer higher biofuel blends.

In a turn of events, on a day when inflation hit its highest monthly figure in 40 years, President Biden announced that his administration will temporarily allow E15 gasoline — gasoline that uses a 15% ethanol blend that is usually banned from sale from June to September — to be sold this summer, a measure intended to help ease gas prices.

Additionally, in March, the Indiana Senate sustained Governor Eric Holcomb’s veto of anti-E15 legislation. Efforts by the Biden administration and Indiana’s strong support for E15 were key factors in POET’s decision to reinvest in the state.

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