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Refiner Valero To Obtain 7 VeraSun Plants

The Florida biorefinery would produce 36 million gallons a year from sugarcane and other plant waste.

And ethanol producer Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc. said late Monday it may need to seek bankruptcy protection if it cannot raise sufficient cash in the very near-term.

The Pekin, Illinois-based company said it does not expect to have enough cash to satisfy a $15 million interest payment due April 1 or to pay $24.4 million due to its engineering and construction contractor.

VeraSun Energy Corp. owns 16 biorefineries with the total capacity to produce 1.4 billion gallons of ethanol annually, or about 13 percent of the country's total capacity.

Secured lenders submitted successful credit bids for the remaining VeraSun facilities.

A group of lenders led by AgStar Financial Services submitted a credit bid of $324 million for Verasun plants that were part of its buyout of US BioEnergy Corp. They include biorefineries in Central City, Nebraska; Ord, Nebraska; Dyersville, Iowa; Hankinson, North Dakota; Janesville, Minnesota; and Woodbury, Michigan.

Dougherty Funding LLC submitted a credit bid of $93 million for a plant in Marion, South Dakota, and a group of lenders led by West LB AG successfully bid $99 million for plants in Bloomingburg, Ohio and Linden, Ind., obtained in its purchase of Dallas-based ASAlliances Biofuels.

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