Aventine Renewable Energy Inc., a leading producer, marketer and supplier of ethanol, announced its first BNSF unit-train shipment of ethanol produced at its two ethanol facilities in Aurora, Nebraska. A BNSF ethanol unit train may consist of 96 ethanol tank cars, 2 buffer cars (62' in length) and 4 BNSF locomotives (75' in length). The unit train pulled out of Aurora heading to Birmingham, Alabama where the ethanol will be blended in gasoline to enhance octane.
It’s a major milestone in executing unit trains out of Aurora, eliminating obsolete single-car switching and moving Aventine assets into the highly efficient unit-train supply chain mode.
Through a solid partnership with the BNSF, Aventine now has direct access from the BNSF mainline to our inner-loop unit-train track, using a newly installed mainline switch, track and a rail crossover built on Aventine’s land. With our ability to produce 155-million gallons of ethanol, additional economics will be driven by quicker and more efficient moves of ethanol trains into large unit-train consumptive end markets.—Mark Beemer, Aventine’s president and CEO
Two years ago Beemer and the Aventine management team devised a strategic plan to logistically derisk the facility from adverse local conditions. Tactics deployed beyond the rail upgrades include installing four new truck scales, two new grain-grading labs and additional corn storage.
With unit-train capacity, Beemer noted, Aventine is looking to open other new 100-car unit train markets, including Watson, California; Chicago and East St. Louis, Illinois; and Dallas, Houston, Deer Park, Fort Worth, Beaumont and Texas City, Texas.
In Aurora, Aventine operates the Aurora West 110-million-gallon Delta T facility and the Nebraska Energy LLC Vogelbusch 45-million-gallon dry mill plant. In Pekin, Illinois, the company’s headquarters, Aventine operates two plants: a 60-million-gallon dry mill and a 100-million-gallon wet mill.