POET slowing ethanol production in half of its facilities

Two people have been furloughed from the Hanlontown facility because of the hit to the ethanol market.

Posted: Aug 21, 2019 8:37 PM
Updated: Aug 21, 2019 8:47 PM

HANLONTOWN, Iowa - POET is a major producer of ethanol in the United States, with 28 biorefineries in seven states.

The company plans on slowing production in half of its facilities, even going as far as stopping production at one plant in Indiana. 

Even though the Hanlontown facility is not cutting production, the ethanol slowdown is having an impact.

Just yesterday, two employees of the Hanlontown POET biorefining facility were furloughed because of the production slowdown. General Manager Kelly Hansen says it's hard to let employees go and he's also worried about the effects on local farmers.

He says there are a number of reasons for the cut in production, but the biggest one is the waivers the EPA has given to certain refineries, which means they don't have to mix ethanol into their gasoline.

The waivers have reduced demand for ethanol by four billion gallons. Each year, about 15 billion gallons of ethanol are produced in the United States.

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