VeraSun Energy Corporation, the nation's second-largest ethanol producer, has announced that it began construction on its fifth ethanol production facility. The new facility will be a 110-million-gallon-per-year (MMGY) plant located near Welcome, Minn. On Monday, the Company announced the beginning of construction on a 110 MMGY plant at Hartley, Ia. With the completion of these two plants, VeraSun expects to have production capacity of 560 MMGY of ethanol by the end of the first quarter 2008.

The facility, which will process more than 39 million bushels of corn annually and employ roughly 50 skilled local workers upon completion, will take approximately 16 months to construct. The biorefinery will also yield 350,000 tons of dried distillers grains (DDGS) annually.

"The state of Minnesota, Martin County and the area communities have been very supportive of our efforts to build this plant," said VeraSun Chairman and CEO Don Endres. "We appreciate the contributions of local leaders in working with us to move forward. Through the power of partnership, we're building our local and domestic economies, strengthening agriculture and increasing our contribution to the domestic fuel supply, while adding value for the benefit of our shareholders, employees, customers, partners and nation."

VeraSun has been working with community leaders on acquisition of land and plans for the plant since late 2003. The site near Welcome was chosen because of its access to abundant corn supply and proximity to rail and highway systems.

"It's an exciting time for Martin County," said Martin County Commissioner Dan Schmidtke. "The VeraSun plant will enable us to revitalize our economic development, with the benefits reaching the rural and city areas from grain farmers to contractors, merchants and other businesses."

Earlier this week, VeraSun received approval from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency that allows it to begin building the zero-discharge facility because it meets Environmental Quality Board standards. Zero-discharge means no water - other than evaporation - will be emitted from the plant.

"Given the environmental challenges posed by the water in this area, we felt a zero-discharge design was the most efficient approach," said Paul Caudill, VeraSun Senior Vice President of Operations. "It is consistent with VeraSun's commitment to our plant communities and the environment, while enabling us to proceed with construction to meet our first-quarter 2008 production target."

Initial work at the site, located on approximately 300 acres about one- and-one-half miles east of Welcome on Martin County Road 26, will include topsoil excavation, backfilling and building access roads. A public information meeting is being planned, with a formal groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for Spring 2007.
The plant is being engineered by ICM, Inc., of Colwich, Kan., and the general contractor is Fagen, Inc., of Granite Falls, Minn.

About VeraSun Energy Corporation
VeraSun Energy Corporation is the second-largest ethanol producer in the U.S. based on production. The company has two operating production facilities located in Aurora, S.D., and Fort Dodge, Ia., and is constructing facilities in Charles City and Hartley, Ia., and Welcome, Minn. Upon completion of the new facilities, VeraSun will have production capacity of approximately 560 million gallons of ethanol per year.

The company markets VeraSun E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline for Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs), directly to fuel retailers under the brand VE85TM. VeraSun's branded E85 is now available at more than 80 retail locations. For more information, please visit the VeraSun websites at or

SOURCE: VeraSun Energy Corporation