Valero celebrates restart of Mount Vernon plant

By Erin Voegele | August 26, 2014

On Aug. 26, Valero Renewable Fuels Co. LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Valero Energy Corp., and the Ports of Indiana hosted an event to commemorate the restart of a 110 MMgy ethanol plant located in Mount Vernon, Indiana. Valero Renewable Fuels purchased the facility from Aventine Renewable Energy-Mt. Vernon LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc., in March. 

Aventine originally celebrated the grand opening of the Mount Vernon facility in April 2011, but later shut down the facility. When Valero purchased the plant in March, the facility had been idle for approximately two years. According to information released by Valero, the plant was restarted earlier this month. During an investor call held in late July to discuss the company’s second quarter financial results, Joe Gorder, president and CEO of Valero, indicated the Mount Vernon plant was expected to restart soon. Moving into the third quarter, he said the company expects production volumes to increase due to the facility’s startup, and noted that given the favorable ethanol margin environment, Valero is looking forward to the facility’s contributions.

The Delta-T facility is the eleventh corn ethanol plant purchased by Valero, and the second in Indiana. The company now has the capacity to produce more than 1.3 billion gallons of ethanol annually.

St. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and other state and local officials were on hand to commemorate the restart of the plant. “The opening of Valero’s ethanol facility at the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon is another economic development win for the State of Indiana,” Ellspermann said. “When the tenth largest company in the U.S. decides to make such a large investment right here in Indiana, the company is confirming that we have a great business climate that includes our strong agriculture industry and our multimodal transportation infrastructure. Not only is Valero developing a partnership with the Ports of Indiana on this project, but the company is also making a significant commitment to support Mount Vernon and the entire Southwest Indiana community.”

Information released by Valero Energy notes the Mount Vernon facility has several logistic advantages, including ready access to corn suppliers and strong rail, truck and barge transportation. The facility is located at the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon on a location leased from Ports of Indiana, the state port authority. According to Valero, that relationship will continue.

“Valero’s team recognized there are considerable strategic advantages for the production and distribution of ethanol at an Ohio River port,” said Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper. “Valero’s investment into this facility creates significant economic impacts in Southwest Indiana and throughout our state. We’re pleased to welcome this world-class company to our port family of businesses.”

With the plant now operational, it employs an estimated 65 full-time workers. “We pride ourselves in our operations and being a positive impact to the community,” said Martin Parrish, Senior Vice President, Valero Renewable Fuels Company LLC and a Corporate Vice President at Valero.  “I’m confident you will find that our actions back this up.”

To prove the point, Parrish presented a donation of $20,000 on behalf of the Valero Energy Foundation to the United Way of Posey County to mark the beginning of Valero’s impact in the area.