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Emmetsburg ‘Community of the Year’ According To Biofuels Publication

By Staff | Jan 4, 2011

SIOUX FALLS, S.D The Emmetsburg community received a special honor at the end of 2010 that started the new year off on a positive note. The Palo Alto County community has been named “Community of the Year” by Biofuels Digest in its annual awards.

Emmetsburg was honored “for the transformation of the small local community’s economy through corn and cellulosic ethanol,” according to the magazine. Emmetsburg is the location of POET’s Project LIBERTY, the planned 25 million-gallon-per-year cellulosic ethanol plant that will use corncobs and light corn stover as feedstocks.

In the Fall of 2010, area farmers harvested 56,000 tons of bio mass in the first commercial harvest of the product. By the plant’s scheduled startup in 2012, farmers will be delivering about 300,000 tons of biomass to POET in Emmetsburg to be used processed into ethanol.

“The Emmetsburg community, the Iowa Power Fund and POET truly are partners in commercializing cellulosic ethanol,” Project LIBERTY Director Jim Sturdevant said. “The entire community has embraced its role as a leader in the nation’s clean energy future.”

Locally, the honor was a surprise to local residents and officials.

“Emmetsburg’s city officials and staff are excited to have learned of the ‘Community of the Year’ award being bestowed upon Emmetsburg, Iowa by Biofuels Digest,” City Administrator John Bird said. “This honor would not be possible, of course, had POET not chosen Emmetsburg as the home for Project LIBERTY and, prior to this, the Voyager plant. POET has proven to be a wonderful corporate citizen here in Emmetsburg and Palo Alto County, and we are very honored to claim them as our neighbor and friend.”

POET, based in Sioux Falls, SD, is the largest ethanol producer in the world and is a leader in biorefining through its efficient, vertically integrated approach to production. The 23-year-old company has a production capacity of more than 1.7 billion gallons of ethanol and nine billion pounds of high-protein animal feed annually from 27 production facilities nationwide. POET also operates a pilot-scale cellulosic ethanol plant, which is using corncobs and light stover as feedstock. Through the pilot plant, POET will commercialize the process in Emmetsburg with Project Liberty, the first commercial cellulosic ethanol facility, which is scheduled to open in 2012.

For more information, visit www.poet.com