photo: mroach via flickr
If you follow the biofuel world at all you'll remember that the US' largest oil refiner, Valero Energy recently bought six of bankrupt VeraSun's ethanol plants. Jumping right into the swing of things, Valero has said that it will run these facilities at full capacity, despite the fact that margins are slimming on producing the fuel these days:Ethanol refining capacity increased 60% in the year prior to the recession, helped along by government encouragement, and when economic collapse decreased fuel demand, many ethanol producers felt the pinch.
Valero isn't deterred though. A company spokesman was quoted by Reuters as saying,
Because of the amount of ethanol we are required to buy for blending in gasoline, it makes sense for us to produce that ethanol.
It's not clear how quickly the former VeraSun facilities, now run by Valero Renewable Fuels, will get up to full capacity. The combined capacity of the plants is about 780 million gallons per year, about 7.5% of total US capacity.
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