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Netherlands King Attends Ethanol Plant Opening

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) ó The opening of one of the nationís first commercial size cellulosic ethanol plants is drawing royalty along with top federal and state officials to Emmetsburg.

Project Liberty is a $250 million plant that will make 25 million gallons of ethanol a year from corn cobs, stalks, leaves and other plant residue. It is hosting a grand opening Wednesday to be attended by King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, and U.S. Department of Energy Undersecretary for Science and Energy Michael Knotek.

The project is a joint venture of Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based ethanol-maker POET and Royal DSM, a Netherlands biotechnology company.

The plant is among the first facilities of its size in the United States to make ethanol from plant material.