April 23 Leading ethanol maker POET Biorefining
restarted its ethanol plant in Macon, Missouri, last week after
upgrading the plant to extract corn oil and as margins improved,
a company spokesman said on Tuesday.
The privately held POET shut down the plant on Feb. 1 as
supplies of corn, the main feedstock used in the production of
the grain-based fuel additive, dwindled to the lowest levels in
nine years, squeezing profits.
The northern Missouri plant with an annual capacity of 45
million gallons was upgraded with $14 million in new technology,
including corn oil extractors, spokesman Matt Merritt said.
"It's a combination of things," Merritt said of restarting
the plant. "Certainly margins improved, with corn oil adding a
new revenue stream."
Margins at U.S. ethanol plants climbed to the highest levels
since December 2011 last month, Reuters data showed, after corn
prices posted their largest two-day decline in history following
a U.S. Agriculture Department report showing a
larger-than-expected stockpile of the grain.
POET is the second largest producer of ethanol behind Archer
Daniels Midland Co.