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BROOKINGS, S.D. -- VeraSun Energy Corp. began construction on its fourth and fifth ethanol production facilities near Welcome, Minn., and Hartley, Iowa, last week, each of which will produce 110 million gallons of ethanol fuel per year.
The facility in Welcome, Minn., will process more than 39 million bushels of corn annually and yield 350,000 tons of dried distillers grain. It will employ 50 local workers and construction is expected to take 16 months.
Once both facilities are completed, the company will have a production capacity of 560 million gallons of ethanol.
"The state of Minnesota, Martin County and the area communities have been very supportive of our efforts to build this plant," said VeraSun chairman and CEO Don Endres. "We appreciate the contributions of local leaders in working with us to move forward. Through the power of partnership, we're building our local and domestic economies, strengthening agriculture and increasing our contribution to the domestic fuel supply, while adding value for the benefit of our shareholders, employees, customers, partners and nation."
The company received approval to build the zero-discharge facility from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, as it meets Environmental Quality Board standards. Zero-discharge means that no water, except from evaporation, will be emitted from the plant, according to the company.
"Given the environmental challenges posed by the water in this area, we felt a zero-discharge design was the most efficient approach," said Paul Caudill, VeraSun senior vice president of operations. "It is consistent with VeraSun's commitment to our plant communities and the environment, while enabling us to proceed with construction to meet our first-quarter 2008 projection target."
VeraSun Energy Corp. has two operating production facilities in Aurora, S.D. and Fort Dodge, Iowa. It is constructing facilities in Charles City, Iowa, Hartley, Iowa and Welcome, Minn. The company markets VeraSun E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, to retailers under the brand VE85.