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Cellulosic Ethanol Would Have Big Impact On Iowa

Cellulosic Ethanol Would Have Big Impact On Iowa

Poet LLC plans to start building a cellulosic ethanol plant in 2011 in northwest Iowa; it could have nearly a $38 billion impact on Iowa, says a new analysis which outlines jobs, and economic output of Project Liberty.

Poet LLC's "Project Liberty" will generate as much as $37.8 billion in economic activity over 20 years and could employ more than 2,800 people. That's what a new, independent analysis claims. Poet officials say their company plans to begin building the cellulosic ethanol plant— called Project Liberty— in 2011, next door to their current corn grain ethanol plant at Emmetsburg in northwest Iowa.

A report put together by Impact DataSource of Austin, Texas and released December 17 outlines both the short-term and long-term impacts of various alternative energy projects receiving grants from the Iowa Power Fund. Project LIBERTY is POET's planned 25 million-gallon-per-year cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa. The plans are for it to be built alongside Poet's current 100 million gallon per year plant which produces ethanol from corn grain. The cellulosic ethanol plant, if it is built, will make ethanol from corn cobs, corn leaves and light corn stover that comes out of the back of the combine.

New study outlines jobs and economic output of Project Liberty

The economic analysis conducted by the private research firm includes three scenarios of low, medium and high long-term impacts from the project and replication of the technology at other Iowa ethanol plants.

Economic output: low of $11.8 billion, mid of $24.4 billion, high of $37.8 billion.

Jobs: low of 861, mid of 1,807, high of 2,846

Worker Earnings: low of $394 million, mid of $815 million, high of $1.3 billion

"Project Liberty will not only employ people at the plant, it will add revenue to farmers' incomes through biomass harvesting and add local jobs through increased economic activity," says Jim Sturdevant, director of Project Liberty. "When that technology is replicated at other cellulosic ethanol plants in Iowa, those economic benefits will increase many times over."

The Iowa Power Fund released the full report at a press conference in Des Moines on December 16, 2010. Click on the link to learn more about how renewable energy and agriculture in general can benefit from the development of cellulosic ethanol, often referred to as the "next generation" of ethanol.

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