Aventine installs corn oil system at Nebraska plant

By Aventine Renewable Energy Inc. | February 25, 2015

Aventine Renewable Energy Inc. has announced the successful installation of a $2.4 million Valicor corn-oil separation system at its Nebraska Energy LLC plant in Aurora, Nebraska.

“By investing in this system we are adding to our revenue stream and diversifying beyond ethanol production in Nebraska,” said Mark Beemer, Aventine president and CEO.

The system began operations in early January. Since corn oil has a higher market value, removing the oil improves dried distillers grain processing properties.

"High production levels and excess inventories nationally have led to tight margins, particularly in Nebraska,” Beemer added. “Until supply and demand are more in line, we are working to maximize profitability by better aligning our costs with our product mix and output levels. Steps we’re taking include initiating a 20 percent cost-cutting program and a 20 percent system-wide reduction in total corn grind.”

The grind reduction affects the two plants in Aurora, Nebraska, including a 30 percent reduction at the NELLC facility and a 50 percent reduction at the Aurora West facility. No change is in effect at Aventine’s two ethanol plants in Pekin, Illinois.

“We expect the grind reduction to be temporary, largely caused by winter storms lowering demand, and it will not affect our employment,” Beemer noted. “A robust ethanol export market continues for U.S. ethanol and with consumers purchasing $2 gasoline, domestic demand is expected to be very strong from April through October.”

“We are responding aggressively to the market, which is telling the ethanol industry its current supplies are burdensome because of the worldwide glut of oil and reduced oil prices,” Beemer added. “Aventine's management will continue to focus on risk management, disciplined hedging and margin management in response to national and international market conditions.”