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Bunge-Ergon Breaks Ground on Vicksburg Ethanol Plant


VICKSBURG, Miss.: Gov. Haley Barbour, federal, state and local officials praised the launch of the first joint venture between an energy company and a agribusiness company to build the largest ethanol plant in the Deep South.

 

Officials from Ergon Ethanol, Inc., and Bunge North America, Inc., broke ground Thursday on what will be a state-of-the-art, 60-million gallon a year Ethanol Plant at the Port of Vicksburg. "Mississippi is blessed with a unique combination of resources, both natural resources and human resources, that coupled with our innovative spirit positions our state to be a leader in the drive to meet America’s energy needs," said Governor Haley Barbour. "This project is another illustration that it makes good business sense to invest in Mississippi and I applaud the decision by these outstanding companies to move forward." The $100 million facility will provide a key link between Bunge’s grain-handling facilities on the Mississippi River and Ergon’s petroleum refining and marketing assets.

 

Producing this renewable, clean-burning fuel will require approximately 21 million bushels of corn each year, creating new markets for regional corn growers. This facility will also generate corn-based co-products which are excellent feed ingredients for area poultry and livestock producers.

 

The plant will be constructed on the 27-acre site of Bunge’s grain storage facility located in the Vicksburg Industrial Harbor Development on Haining Road.

 

"We are very pleased to bring an important volume of renewable fuel to Mississippi that will displace millions of barrels of imported foreign crude oil and gasoline with clean-burning transportation fuel made from American grown grains" said Don Davis of Ergon.

 

Bailey Ragan, vice president and general manager of Bunge Grain, said, "Bunge’s roots in the region made partnering with Ergon a natural fit for our first ethanol venture in this area. It’s wonderful to see our separate industries of agriculture and energy come together in a way the will help both Bunge and Ergon build our businesses, build the Vicksburg community and build energy security for our nation."

 

Danny Jones, a Vicksburg-area farmer, said: "Renewable fuels are providing a ray of hope for farmers by creating another market for our crops. Having this facility in Vicksburg will allow us to save on the transportation costs of getting our corn to market, plus we are already seeing a bump in prices. This is a win-win for everyone involved."

 

Construction is expected to begin immediately and ultimately bring at least 120 construction jobs to Warren County. When completed, Bunge-Ergon Vicksburg, LLC will employ approximately 31 people and have a $1.5 million annual payroll.

 

About Ergon Ethanol

Ergon Ethanol, Inc., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ergon, Inc., (www.ergon.com) with headquarters in Jackson, Mississippi. Ergon, Inc., privately held, operates under six primary business segments: Refining & Marketing, Asphalt & Emulsions, Transportation & Terminaling, Oil and Gas, Embedded Computing, and Real Estate. Ergon owns and operates three petroleum refineries located in Mississippi, Arkansas and West Virginia, producing gasoline, low sulfur diesel, lubricant and process base oils, asphalts and other specialty products.

 

About Bunge North America

Bunge North America (www.bungenorthamerica.com), the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG), is a vertically integrated food and feed ingredient company, supplying raw and processed agricultural commodities and specialized food ingredients to a wide range of customers in the livestock, poultry, food processor, foodservice and bakery industries. With headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, Bunge North America and its subsidiaries operate grain elevators, oilseed processing plants, edible oil refineries and packaging facilities, and corn dry mills in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

 

For further information contact:

 

BUNGE NORTH AMERICA, INC.:
Public Affairs
Telephone: (314) 292-2000
Fax: (314) 292-2521

ERGON ETHANOL, INC.:
Jim Temple
Director of Communications
Telephone: (601)933-3000



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