Grain News

VeraSun Energy Corp. to Build Ethanol Plant in Aurora, SD

Date Posted: January 15, 2003

Brookings, SD--VeraSun Energy Corporation announced January 15 it has completed financing and has begun construction on a 100 million gallon (mgy) per year dry-grind ethanol plant near Aurora, SD.

When completed in the first quarter of 2004, the VeraSun plant will process more than 35 million bushels of corn annually, creating a new local corn market of more than $70 million. The plant will employ 50-60 skilled personnel with an annual payroll of more than $3 million.

Don Endres, President and CEO of VeraSun, stated, "We are excited at the prospect of creating a new regional market for corn and providing career opportunities for people in South Dakota. This will result in a direct benefit to regional producers and their communities."

The plant, located on 417 acres, is being engineered by ICM, Inc., of Colwich, KS, and incorporates the latest technology, including thermal oxidizers to insure it is an environmentally friendly plant.

The general contractor is Fagen, Inc., of Granite Falls, MN.

Equity financing for the plant is primarily from Eastern South Dakota investors, lead by Don Endres.

The venture capital group, Bluestem Capital Company of Sioux Falls, SD, also has a significant stake in the project.

Paul Schock of Bluestem said, "We strive to make investments that provide returns to our investors while making a positive impact on our regional economy. VeraSun clearly shares similar objectives and has a team with a track record of successful execution. These are qualities we look for in companies."

The VeraSun plant will be the largest in South Dakota and amongst the largest in the nation.

With the completion of the plant, South Dakota will have a total ethanol production capacity of more than 360 mgy.

According to Endres, "We are pleased to join in this industry with other neighboring plants in the region. Having grown up on a farm in Watertown, South Dakota, I know how much value these plants can bring to corn producers, local communities, and shareholders."

For more information, call Bill Honnef, VeraSun Energy Corporation at 605-696-7206.

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