An ethanol maker with two Iowa plants and a third under construction here is reporting a whopper boost in earnings. Brookings, South Dakota-based VeraSun Energy Corporation reports total revenue for the first quarter at 144-million dollars, an increase of more than 30-percent compared to the first quarter of 2006.
VeraSun chairman and CEO Don Endres says the increase is based on several issues. Endres attributes the strong revenue growth to the team’s performance in running facilities at 105-percent of capacity, along with having no safety issues and no federally-reportable spills or releases. As the demand for ethanol continues to rise, he says it’s their mission to provide as much of the renewable fuel as possible, using Midwest-grown corn as a key ingredient.
Endres says, "VeraSun successfully transitioned to directly marketing ethanol this quarter. This was a major event and was completed on schedule with no issues with either operations or service to our customers." He says the company’s new Charles City ethanol production facility is already on-line and more plants are in the works.
VeraSun has three ethanol production facilities on-line in Charles City, Fort Dodge, and Aurora, South Dakota, and two more are under construction in Hartley, Iowa, and Welcome, Minnesota. Once the new facilities are on-line, VeraSun will have an annual production capacity of about 670-million gallons of ethanol per year.