US ethanol producer Poet LLC has this week broken ground on a major expansion of its ethanol plant in Marion, Ohio.

The project, worth USD 120 million (EUR 102m), will increase the annual capacity of the plant to 150 million gallons (568 million litres) from 70 million gallons. Production of dried distillers grains will also go up, to 360,000 tonnes per year from 178,000 tonnes now.

The expansion, which was announced earlier this year, is due to be completed in the third quarter of 2018. It is expected to create 225 temporary construction jobs and between 18 and 21 additional permanent jobs at the facility, which was opened in 2008.

Chief executive Jeff Broin pointed out in a statement that the expansion will add 26 million bushels of corn demand a year for the local area. "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," he said.

Article by Renewables Now: Poet breaks ground on ethanol plant expansion in Ohio