May 16 (Reuters) - Leading ethanol maker POET Biorefining this week shut down its ethanol plant in Alexandria, Indiana, due to a maintenance issue, cash grain traders in the eastern U.S. Midwest said on Thursday.
The ethanol plant is closed for deliveries of corn, the main feedstock used in production of the grain-based fuel additive, and is expected to be shut down for as long as two weeks, the traders said.
A spokesman POET declined to comment. The facility is located northeast of Indianapolis and has an annual capacity of 68 million gallons.
POET, a privately held company based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has 27 ethanol plants and is the second largest producer behind Archer Daniels Midland Co, according to the Renewable Fuels Association.
POET last month restarted a plant in Macon, Missouri, that had been idled for more than two months due to tight corn supplies and poor profit margins.
Better returns in recent weeks have many U.S. ethanol plants bidding aggressively to buy corn to process into the biofuel.
(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer) Keywords: ETHANOL POET/
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