Due to the current market volatility, VeraSun Energy will delay the startup of its 110 million-gallon-per-year ethanol production facility in Hankinson, N.D. This is the third VeraSun facility that has delayed startup operations this month due to market conditions, the other two being Welcome, Minn., and Hartley, Iowa. Construction on the Hankinson facility will be completed by the end of June, while construction on the Hartley and Welcome biorefineries was completed earlier this month.
VeraSun CEO Don Endres says ethanol is currently being sold at a deep discount to unleaded gasoline, which is tightening margins for producers, but he remains optimistic about the industry. “With oil prices hovering around record levels, there is a tremendous urgency for domestically produced fuel options in our country,” Endres said.