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$105 million loan guarantee for first-of-its-kind cellulosic bio-refinery.

The US Department of Energy has made a conditional commitment for a $105 million loan guarantee to support the development of the US's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant. Project LIBERTY, sponsored by POET, will produce up to 25 million gallons of ethanol per year and will be located in Emmetsburg, Iowa. POET estimates the project will generate approximately 200 jobs during construction and 40 permanent jobs at the plant. POET estimates the project will also bring approximately $14 million in new revenue to area farmers.

Unlike many conventional corn ethanol plants, Project LIBERTY will use corncobs, leaves and husks - sources provided by local farmers - that do not compete with feed grains. The project's process uses enzymatic hydrolysis to convert waste into ethanol and will produce enough biogas to power both Project LIBERTY and POET's adjacent grain-based ethanol plant.

Project LIBERTY will displace over 13.5 million gallons of gasoline annually and fulfill more than 25 per cent of the projected 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard Requirement for biomass-based cellulosic ethanol. POET plans to replicate the process at 27 of their other corn ethanol facilities, which would have a projected combined annual capacity of one billion gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol. The company estimates that 85 per cent of Project LIBERTY will be sourced with US content.

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Publication:CPI Financial
Date:Jul 13, 2011
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