Energy company Valero buys Indiana ethanol plant

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Associated Press

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 5:32 AM

MOUNT VERNON, Ind. (AP) — An energy company plans to begin production soon at an idled ethanol plant it has purchased at an Indiana port on the Ohio River, a spokesman said.

San Antonio-based Valero Renewable Fuels announced Friday it has purchased the plant at the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon from Pekin, Ill.-based Aventine Renewable Energy.

"We believe we'll be able to get that (Mount Vernon) plant up and running in the next few months, and it'll be a good addition to our portfolio," Valero spokesman Bill Day told the Evansville Courier & Press (http://bit.ly/1jjDUEZ ).

Valero will start hiring immediately for the 60 to 65 positions it will need at the plant about 20 miles west of Evansville, Day said.

Valero Renewable Fuels now owns 11 ethanol plants in seven states, including one in Linden, Ind., about 40 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

Aventine started building the ethanol plant, which has an annual production capacity of 110 million gallons, in late 2007 but halted construction in February 2009, when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Aventine emerged from bankruptcy and resumed construction on the site in March 2010, and the plant began producing ethanol in December of that year. Aventine stopped production when the ethanol market declined in 2012. Ports of Indiana records indicate the plant has been idle since March 2012.

The resumption of production will create opportunities for area farmers and transportation companies, Ports of Indiana spokeswoman Heather Bunning said.

"It's definitely a positive impact, not just for the port but also for surrounding businesses," Bunning said.

The port owns the 116 acres on which the plant sits.

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Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, http://www.courierpress.com

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