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VOL. 124 | NO. 100 | Friday, May 22, 2009

Green Plains to Buy Two VeraSun Plants for $123.5M

DIRK LAMMERS | AP Energy Writer

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. said Thursday that it's buying two Nebraska ethanol plants that were acquired by a lender during VeraSun Energy Corp.'s bankruptcy auction.

Omaha, Neb.-based Green Plains said it has signed purchase agreements to buy the Ord and Central City biorefineries from AgStar Financial Services for $123.5 million.

AgStar is financing the purchase.

The addition of Central City's annual capacity of 100 million gallons and Ord's annual capacity of 50 million gallons gives Green Plains a 45 percent boost to a total capacity of 480 million gallons per year. That would rank the company behind Poet LLC, Archer Daniels Midland Co., and Valero Energy Corp.

Green Plains' four other plants are in Iowa, Indiana and Tennessee.

Todd Becker, Green Plains' president and chief executive, said the biorefineries are in excellent locations and use similar technology that will allow Green Plains to integrate them with little disruption.

"The acquisition of the plants in Central City and Ord lowers our cost of production and improves our ability to compete in the industry," Becker said in a statement.

The company expects to close on the plants in June and have them fully operational within two months after closing.

Sioux Falls-based VeraSun filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Oct. 31 after tightening credit markets snapped the lifeline it needed to weather the swings in corn and fuel prices.

Valero, the nation's largest independent petroleum refiner and marketer, bought seven former VeraSun plants for $477 million.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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