Valero Renewables-Hartley is located near Hartley, Iowa, about 100 miles east and south of Sioux Falls, S.D. The bio-refinery sits on approximately 350 acres and started ethanol production in August 2008. The facility uses a dry-grind production method and state-of-the-art technology to maintain industry-leading standards in production, safety, product quality and environmental stewardship. The Hartley plant annually processes nearly 43 million bushels of corn into 120 million gallons of denatured ethanol and 400,000 tons of distillers grains co-products. The bio-refinery has a nameplate capacity of 110 million gallons of ethanol per year and employs approximately 65 full-time personnel.
The entire kernel of corn is converted to ethanol or distillers grains. Ethanol is an environmentally friendly, high-octane renewable fuel produced by fermenting converted corn starch with yeast. It is used as a blending agent with gasoline. Distillers grains are the co-product left after the ethanol is removed from fermented corn mash, and are sold as a valuable livestock feed. Distillers grains are high in protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, making an excellent feed supplement for beef and dairy cattle, swine and poultry. The Hartley plant markets both dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) and modified (or wet) distillers grains with solubles (MDGS).
The plant timeline:
- August 2006 – Announced plans to build an ethanol facility in O’Brien County
- November 2006 – Construction began
- May 2007 – Groundbreaking celebrated
- June 2008 – Construction completed
- April 2009 – Valero Renewables closed on purchase of the plant from VeraSun Energy