A South Dakota-based biofuels company has announced plans for its fifth ethanol plant in Indiana. POET LLC says it will invest nearly $160 million to build the facility in Shelbyville, and create 45 full-time jobs. The company says the plant is expected to go online in the spring of 2020 and will be capable of producing 80 million gallons of ethanol annually.
The ethanol produced at the plant will come from $110 million of corn purchased from farmers within a 30-mile radius. It will also feature environmental controls that eliminate the discharge of processing water.
"This is the right project in the right location at the right time," said Jeff Broin, chief executive officer of POET. "Farmers desperately need the income boost from this new market for grain, and Pres. Trump’s recent announcement of year-round E15 sales has the biofuels industry poised for new growth and prosperity. Shelbyville is leading the way for future production to meet new E15 demand."
Brian Asher, executive director of the Shelby County Development Corp., says local farmers will benefit from the project by not having to haul their corn long distances to receive top prices. The city of Shelbyville is assisting POET with land acquisition and infrastructure, and a tax abatement proposal is currently being reviewed by the company.
"POET’s project provides jobs right here in Shelby County, but its indirect effects will extent well beyond that," said Asher,. "This boosts income for farmers, expands the tax base and circulates new dollars across the state economy."
POET plans to begin hiring for the new jobs in the spring of 2019. The company currently has facilities in Alexandria, Cloverdale, North Manchester, and Portland that produce a total of 244 million gallons of ethanol per year.