BROOKINGS, S.D. -- VeraSun Energy Corporation, the nation's second-largest ethanol producer, has begun construction on its newest 110-million-gallon-per-year (MMGY) ethanol production facility near Hartley, Iowa.

The plant is on schedule to begin production in the first quarter of 2008.

The facility, which will process more than 39 million bushels of corn annually and employ roughly 50 skilled workers upon completion, will take approximately 16 months to construct. The 110 MMGY facility will also yield 350,000 tons of dried distillers grains (DDGS) annually.

"A great deal of planning and preparation has brought us to this point," said VeraSun Chairman and CEO Don Endres. "We look forward to working with the community as we bring the plant to life. Together, we will make a positive impact on the region by creating jobs and strengthening agriculture while adding to our nation's domestic fuel supply."

Initial work at the site, located on approximately 350 acres, will include moving in heavy equipment, hauling dirt, grading 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.

VeraSun Energy Corp. 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, Iowa; is constructing facilities in Charles City and Hartley, Iowa; and has an additional facility under development in Welcome, Minn. Upon completion of the new facilities, VeraSun will have an annual 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 VE85(TM). VeraSun's branded E85 is now available at more than 80 retail locations.

SOURCE: VeraSun Energy Corporation via PR Newswire.