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Construction update: Project Liberty remains on schedule for early 2014 startup


About 300 workers on site daily building commercial cellulosic bio-ethanol plant

CHICAGO – Construction at POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels’ Project LIBERTY is on schedule for an early 2014 startup, with a crew of approximately 300 workers on site daily, a POET-DSM executive said today in Chicago.

POET-DSM Advanced Biofuel’s Project LIBERTY will be one of the first plants of its kind in the nation. It will use cob bales – made up of corn cobs, leaves, husks and some stalk – to produce 20 million gallons of cellulosic bio-ethanol annually, later ramping up to 25 million gallons. Steve Hartig, General Manager – Licensing for POET-DSM is outlining progress today at the Platts Biofuels and Chemicals conference.

Hartig said the progress to date includes

• Biomass receiving and grinding building is complete and biomass processing equipment is nearly installed.
• Saccharification, fermentation tanks are complete.
• Equipment installation and pipe work is ongoing.
• Cooling tower construction is underway.
• Underground utilities are nearing completion.

“We had a great summer for construction and have been able to stay on track to start producing cellulosic bio-ethanol early next year,” Hartig said. “It’s impressive to see this technology coming to life in Emmetsburg.”

Hartig and the POET-DSM licensing team are now in preliminary talks with other ethanol producers, preparing to license POET-DSM technology for future plants.

“Once Project LIBERTY is operating, we’ll be able to learn so much about running this process at commercial scale,” he said. “That experience will help us lower the costs for future plants.”

POET-DSM is hiring a number of positions for Project LIBERTY. For more information, visit

The most recent construction photos are available for publication at POET-DSM’s Flickr site.

About POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, LLC

POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, LLC, is a 50/50 joint venture between Royal DSM and POET, LLC. Based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the company is a cooperative effort of two innovators that provides a key to unlocking the opportunity of converting corn crop residue into cellulosic bio-ethanol. Built on the strengths of both companies, the joint venture has a critical mission: to make cellulosic bio-ethanol competitive with corn bio-ethanol, the most competitive renewable liquid transportation fuel on the US market today. Drawing on the deep expertise and experience of POET and DSM in different areas of converting cellulosic biomass into bio-ethanol, POET - DSM Advanced Biofuels will have its first commercial-scale plant co-located with POET’ Biorefining -- Emmetsburg in Emmetsburg, Iowa. Based on this plant, the JV plans to globally license an integrated technology package for the conversion of corn crop residue to cellulosic bio-ethanol. More information:


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