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Iowa Approves Final Grant For Cellulosic Project

By Staff | Jan 28, 2010

SIOUX FALLS, SD — The Iowa Department of Economic Development on Thursday approved an agreement for the final $5.25 million in financial assistance to POET’s Project LIBERTY, a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant that will produce ethanol from corn cobs.

The final approval brings Iowa’s total contribution to the project to $20 million. The initial $14.75 million, from the Iowa Power Fund, was approved in February 2009. In 2008, POET and the Iowa Department of Economic Development agreed to terms surrounding the project. Approval Thursday finalized those terms.

“The state has shown vision and leadership in helping our nation continue down this important path to eliminate the need for dirty and imported oil,” Project LIBERTY Director Jim Sturdevant said. “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Iowa in commercializing cellulosic ethanol.”

Project LIBERTY is a 25 million gallon-per-year cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmetsburg that uses corn cobs as feedstock. POET plans to begin construction this year on the plant, which will be co-located with POET’s current grain-ethanol plant at the site. POET’s pilot-scale plant in Scotland, S.D. is already producing cellulosic ethanol at a rate of approximately 20,000 gallons per year.