Valero resumes ethanol production at Nebraska plant

CHICAGO Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:18am EST

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CHICAGO Feb 14 (Reuters) - Valero Energy Corp resumed production this month at an ethanol plant in Albion, Nebraska that was idled in June due to poor profit margins, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Economic conditions have since improved, the company said.

"The corn basis price in that area reduced a little bit, which was helpful," Valero spokesman Bill Day said. "That plant was able to operate economically and at a profit. The margin improved, and that is basically the reason," Day said.

Valero's website says the Albion plant has a production capacity of 110 million gallons per year and employs approximately 60 people.

Valero has 10 ethanol plants, eight of which are currently operating. Its facilities in Linden, Indiana and Bloomingburg, Ohio remain idled because of poor margins, Day said.

The high cost of corn has been a pressure point for ethanol producers and has led some to shutter ethanol plants temporarily. Last month, weekly U.S. production fell to the lowest level in at least 2-1/2 years.

But some plants have come back on line in recent days, helping bolster output.

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