Illinois Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama made a stop in Charles City on his five day tour of Iowa last week to help cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the third ethanol plant for VeraSun Energy.
Obama says ethanol “ultimately helps our national security because right now we’re sending billions of dollars to some of the most hostile nations on earth, and makes it more difficult for us to shape a foreign policy that is intelligent and is creating security for the long term.”
Other dignitaries at the event included National Corn Growers Association CEO Rick Tolman, Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen, Dr. Mary Beth Stanek with General Motors; Don Endres, VeraSun Energy Corp. chairman, CEO and president; and Mike Adams, host of the national farm program AgriTalk.
To see more pictures from the grand opening, including the ones on this post, go to the AgriTalk website.
In other VeraSun news, the company announced the acquisition with ASAlliances Biofuels, LLC for three ethanol plants with a combined annual production capacity of approximately 330 million gallons per year. The three facilities are each expected to operate at 110MMGY and are located in Linden, Indiana; Albion, Nebraska; and Bloomingburg, Ohio – only the Linden facility is currently open.
This brings VeraSun’s total production capacity to 450 million gallons per year with four facilities in operation and another 550 million gallons of capacity under construction at five different sites. In addition to the Linden facility, VeraSun has operating plants in Aurora, South Dakota and Fort Dodge and Charles City, Iowa. Construction is also underway at Hartley, Iowa; Welcome, Minnesota; and Reynolds, Indiana.