AgStar sells first of six former VeraSun plants

By Kris Bevill | May 04, 2009
Web exclusive posted May 8, 2009 at 2:48 p.m. CST

The former VeraSun Energy Corp. plant at Woodbury, Mich. has been sold by AgStar Financial Services to newly-formed Carbon Green BioEnergy. The 40 MMgy facility was acquired by AgStar during a March auction. The company announced May 6 that an agreement between AgStar and Carbon Green BioEnergy had been signed and a sale was expected to close within 30 days.

"This acquisition is particularly rewarding because it is a win-win," Carbon Green BioEnergy President Jim Murphy said. "Clearly it represents a sustainable business opportunity for us and our partners. But importantly, it also demonstrates our tangible commitment to the Woodbury and neighboring communities with our focus on buying corn and selling ethanol and its byproducts locally, while reducing our carbon footprint."

Carbon Green BioEnergy was created through a partnership by Carbon Green LLC and Energetix LLC. Carbon Green LLC is a Chicago-based consulting firm that specializes in working with renewable fuel producers to lower their carbon footprints and generate carbon credits. Energetix is headed by Mitch Miller, who formerly held leadership positions at several ethanol facilities that have employed alternative production measures as ways to reduce their energy input and carbon output. Miller will serve as CEO at Carbon Green BioEnergy and will manage the Woodbury facility.

The Woodbury plant is the first of six VeraSun facilities acquired by AgStar to be sold. AgStar was a primary lender for the VeraSun facilities and acquired the bankrupt properties for a fraction of their value. (Read "Valero wins bid to acquire VeraSun plants" for further auction information.) Paul DeBriyn, AgStar president and CEO, said the company will continue to lead a group of lenders in financing Carbon Green Bioenergy. "This facility will soon be operating, providing jobs for rural America, buying corn and producing ethanol," he said. "We believe the outlook for biofuels is solid and will improve over time."

Ongoing discussions are being held regarding the five other production facilities acquired by AgStar. DeBriyn said AgStar hopes to make announcements on the sale of those facilities "in the very near future."