The Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) has approved an agreement for the final $5.25 million in financial assistance for Project LIBERTY, Poet’s cellulosic pilot project that will convert corn cobs to ethanol. The announcement ups the total of Iowa’s financial contributions to the project to $20 million. Poet and IDED has been in talks since 2008.
“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,” said Project LIBERTY Director Jim Sturdevant. “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, Iowa 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.
In addition to the funds from the state of Iowa, the project has also received funds from the Department of Energy.
*post update* See more photos from the POET Project Liberty media event here.