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VeraSun Energy delays startup of Hankinson, N.D., biorefinery

BROOKINGS, S.D. -- VeraSun Energy Corp. (NYSE: VSE), one of the nation's largest ethanol producers, today announced that it will delay the startup of its 110 million-gallon-per-year (MMGY) ethanol production facility in Hankinson, N.D. The Hankin...

BROOKINGS, S.D. -- VeraSun Energy Corp. (NYSE: VSE), one of the nation's largest ethanol producers, today announced that it will delay the startup of its 110 million-gallon-per-year (MMGY) ethanol production facility in Hankinson, N.D. The Hankinson biorefinery marks the third VeraSun facility that has delayed startup operations this month due to market conditions, joining other 110MMGY plants in Welcome, Minn., and Hartley, Iowa.

"Given the current volatility in the market, we believe that delaying all three of these startups is the prudent decision for the long-term benefit of our company and shareholders," said VeraSun CEO Don Endres. "Ethanol is currently being sold at a deep discount to unleaded gasoline, which has caused us to delay the start-up of these facilities until the outlook for ethanol selling prices and overall margins improve."

Construction on the Hankinson facility will be completed by the end of June, while construction on the Hartley and Welcome biorefineries was completed earlier this month.

"With oil prices hovering around record levels, there is a tremendous urgency for domestically produced fuel options in our country," Endres said. "Ethanol is a solution that is available today and will continue to have a strategic impact on diversifying our energy needs."

About VeraSun Energy Corporation

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VeraSun Energy Corporation (NYSE: VSE), headquartered in Brookings, S.D., is a leading producer of renewable fuel. Founded in 2001, the company has more than 1.3 billion gallons of annual ethanol production capacity through 14 biorefineries. Three additional facilities are currently either under construction or development with a combined capacity of 330 million gallons. Upon completion of the new facilities, VeraSun Energy will have an annual production capacity of approximately 1.75 billion gallons. Recently, the company began construction at its Aurora facility that will allow it to extract oil from dried distillers grains.

VeraSun markets E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline for use in Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs), directly to fuel retailers under the brand VE85(R). For more information, please visit VeraSun Energy's websites at http:/ www.verasun.com or http://www.VE85.com .

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