POET Biorefining is making roughly $5 million in upgrades at its Mitchell-area site to expand equipment including for its business forming distillers grains produced while making ethanol into pellets that animals can easily eat.

The Daily Republic reports the company ceremonially broke ground on the improvements Wednesday (May 24). POET Vice President of Business Development Matt Reiners says the upgrades are the first of their kind for the company and should be completed late Summer 2018 around Labor Day.

The construction at the facility near Loomis South Dakota, is set to include a building for the pellet mill, four bins to hold the pellets and adding a fermentor. POET representatives say the pellets can be more easily transported into a pasture than the dry, loose meal option the company has sold previously.

POET Biorefining, located near Loomis,  began operations in December 2006. The state-of-the-art ethanol production facility will consume approximately 24 million bushels of locally-grown corn to produce 68 million gallons of ethanol annually.

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