Aventine Renewable Energy Installs Corn-Oil System at Ethanol Plant

Aventine Renewable Energy Inc. has announced the successful installation of its third Valicor® corn-oil separation system. The new $4.4 million “plug and play” modular system is now operating at the Aurora West 110-million-gallon Delta T plant in Aurora, Nebraska.

 “By adapting new technologies to the dry-milling process, we’re able to extract and market higher value coproducts, which allow us to expand our revenue stream, continue to add shareholder value, and diversify beyond ethanol production in Nebraska,” said Mark Beemer, Aventine president and CEO.

“After passage of the Renewable Fuels Standards and the Energy Security Act in 2007, the ethanol industry was able to expand because of the lower capital expenditure of using dry-milling technology compared to the wet-milling industry,” Beemer explained.

Since corn oil has a higher market value, removing the oil improves dried distillers grain processing properties. The industrial-grade byproduct from the two Aurora plants will be used primarily for biodiesel or as an additive to livestock feed for higher caloric diets. Aurora West can produce 10,000 gallons of corn oil a day.

In late 2012 Aventine was facing another potential bankruptcy. Since then Beemer, CFO Brian Steenhard and a realigned management team have achieved a dramatic turnaround in the company’s fortunes. “After losing $82 million in 2012, Aventine achieved over $100 million in EBITDA in 2014 as a direct result of the aggressive initiatives we have implemented,” Beemer noted.

In addition, the operations team led by Mike McFate, chief operations officer, and John Valenti, vice president of operations, fixed legacy operational problems at Aventine. “During the turnaround they reopened both plants in Aurora, and have recorded five new production records in Pekin,” Beemer added.

Last summer Aventine ordered a $2.4 million corn-oil separation system for its Nebraska Energy LLC plant in Aurora, which began operations in early January. It can produce 4,500 gallons of corn oil a day.

The company previously installed a Valicor system at its Pekin, Illinois, dry mill, which has been in operation since late 2013. Aventine also operates a 100-million-gallon wet mill in Pekin.

Source: Aventine Renewable Energy Inc.
Date: May 19, 2015