Valero Renewables-Mount Vernon is located in Mount Vernon, Ind., in the far southwestern corner of the state on the Ohio River, the boundary with Kentucky. Part of the Evansville, Ind., metropolitan area, Mount Vernon is approximately 190 miles southwest of Indianapolis. The bio-refinery sits on 112 acres leased from the Ports of Indiana, and was completed by previous owner Aventine Renewable Energy in the fall of 2010. 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 Mount Vernon plant has a nameplate production capacity of 110 million gallons of ethanol per year, processing about 40 million bushels of corn, and employs more than 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.
Valero Renewables-Mount Vernon has excellent logistics, with access to the Ohio River via Consolidated Grain & Barge ethanol and distillers grains barge docks, location next to the Consolidated Grain & Barge elevator, and service by the Evansville Western Railway, which connects directly to CSX.
The plant timeline:
- Late 2007 – Aventine Renewable Energy began construction
- November 2010 – Construction completed
- December 2010 – Startup activities began
- April 2011 – Grand opening celebrated
- Spring 2012 – Production idled due to economics
- March 2014 – Valero Renewables closed on purchase of the plant from Aventine