US Ethanol Industry Eyes Valero’s Bid for VeraSun

(by Jennifer Kho) Just over a year ago, ethanol manufacturer VeraSun Energy Corp. was one of biofuels’ fastest-rising stars. The company is the largest publicly traded ethanol producer in the United States. It has about 1.64 billion gallons of annual production capacity and uses about 5 percent of the country’s annual corn production. Now, the company has become a poster child for the industry’s troubles. VeraSun locked in high prices for corn under hedging agreements that put the company at a disadvantage when corn prices fell, and also — like many other ethanol companies — found its margins squeezed by lower ethanol prices. In October, VeraSun filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The filing is part of a series of ethanol bankruptcies, including Panda Ethanol, Renew Energy, Gateway Ethanol, Greater Ohio Ethanol, Northeast Biofuels, Cascade Grain and many more. Earlier this month, Archer Daniel Midlands told analysts that nearly 21 percent of U.S. ethanol production capacity had been shut down. Valero’s Day said. “As an oil company, we buy up a good amount of ethanol,” he said. “We believe ethanol is here to stay as part of our fuel mix — we don’t believe the renewable fuel standard will go anywhere but up — and we thought it was a good time to make a bid for those plants.” Renewable Energy World Article

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About Author: John Addison

Founder of the Clean Fleet Report, author of Save Gas, Save the Planet. John writes about electric cars, renewable energy, and sustainability.