Operations will be temporarily shut down at the Poet Biorefinery in Macon on Friday. Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross speak with General Manager Steve Burnett:
Last year’s drought means the amount of corn produced in the area dropped from about 136 bushels and acre to around 30, which means they don’t have enough or its too expensive to keep producing ethanol.
“Corn is the raw ingredient that we use in these dry mill plants in Missouri, to make ethanol from, and of course, when there’s no corn, we don’t have enough corn available left in this part of the state to run the plant, so, you know, there’s only one thing you can do,” said Burnett.
Burnett said they plan to keep all 44 workers employed. While the plant is closed, they will be installing about $13.5 million worth of technology upgrades. Those will not be finished until September. They will install equipment to produce corn oil and for a patented cold-process fermentation.