Aventine Renewable Energy Inc., a producer, marketer and end-to-end supplier of ethanol, announced last week that its first railcar shipment of ethanol produced at its Aurora West facility in Aurora, Neb., using sugar beet sugar as feedstock occurred.

“We are excited to have Aurora West up and running, creating local jobs, and contributing to the Nebraska economy,” said Mark Beemer, Aventine’s president and CEO. “This marks an important milestone in Aventine’s continuing story of innovation and demonstrates our leadership in the ethanol industry. By producing sustainable green energy, we’re also helping to ensure America’s domestic energy security.”

The company has hired 52 employees to date, and expects to hire 18 more in the next two months, for an annualized payroll of $4.6 million. It was noted that the company has already injected $10.6 million into the local Aurora economy through expenditures on operational needs.

Aventine Renewable Energy, with headquarters at Pekin, Ill., is a producer and marketer of industrial and fuel ethanol and related byproducts, bio-products and co-products related to ethanol production.