Valero Renewables-Jefferson is located near Jefferson, Wis., about halfway between Madison and Milwaukee off of Interstate 94. The bio-refinery sits on 344 acres and started ethanol production in January 2008. The facility uses a dry-grind fractionation production method and state-of-the-art technology to maintain industry-leading standards in production, safety, product quality and environmental stewardship. The Jefferson plant annually processes nearly 40 million bushels of corn into 110 million gallons of un-denatured ethanol and nearly 400,000 tons of high-value co-products including bran, germ and CO2. The bio-refinery has a nameplate capacity of 110 million gallons of ethanol per year and employs approximately 85 full-time personnel.
The entire kernel of corn is processed. 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. Jefferson’s distillers grains are very high in protein, and contain fat, vitamins and minerals, making an excellent feed supplement for beef and dairy cattle, swine and poultry. The Jefferson plant markets dried distillers grains as well as a bran-plus-syrup mix and corn germ.
The plant timeline:
- 2003 – Utica Energy started by group of investors including Wisconsin’s largest grain dealers and several large farmers, who later started Renew Energy
- March 2006 – Renew purchased Cargill malting plant at current site and began plans for dry-mill ethanol plant
- September 2006 – Construction on plant conversion began
- December 2007 – Conversion to dry-mill ethanol plant completed
- January 2008 – Startup activities began
- February 2010 – Valero Renewables acquired plant