Ethanol plant welcomes falling corn pricesby Mark Steil, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — VeraSun Energy officials say they plan to begin making ethanol at a new plant in southern Minnesota by the end of September.
The Sioux Falls-based company had delayed opening the plant in the town of Welcome last spring. The company said high corn prices were making ethanol production unprofitable.
VeraSun President Danny Herron said the company also held off on starting up new plants in Hartley, Iowa and Hankinson, North Dakota.
"In essence, at that time the overall industry margins were about a negative 50 cents per gallon. Now that low point occured just a few days before we were scheduled to grind corn at the Welcome plant. Based on that volatility and the market conditions we choose to delay the Welcome, Hartley and Hankinson startups," Herron said.
Since then, Herron said, falling corn prices have made it profitable to make ethanol. VeraSun opened the Hankinson plant last month and plans to start up the Hartley facility this month.