After 5 Years, Refinery Restarts

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 @ 08:05 AM gHale

Pacific Ethanol restarted production at its Madera, CA, refinery last week, the last of its plants to resume operations after five years sitting idle.

Pacific Ethanol president and chief executive Neil Koehler officially restarted the Madera operations Wednesday. Koehler’s brother, vice president of corporate development Paul Koehler, said the Madera plant has 35 employees and will likely take several weeks to ramp up to its full annual production capacity of 40 million gallons of ethanol.

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The company was already producing ethanol at its plants in Stockton, Boardman, OR and Burley, ID. The Madera plant, built in 2006, is the last plant to resume operations after being shut down in 2008 in the depths of the financial crisis. Bringing the Madera plant back online restores Pacific Ethanol’s entire annual production capability of 200 million gallons.

The Sacrament, CA-based company’s net sales rose from $225.5 million in the first quarter of 2013 to $254.5 million in this year’s first quarter — a result of more production gallons and an increase in the per-gallon price of ethanol sold so far this year.

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