Benson, June 10 - The Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company’s (CVEC) ethanol plant in Benson today celebrated its 20th anniversary.
“CVEC has been in the ethanol industry 20 years supporting rural America, providing jobs, supporting a clean environment and returning capital and infrastructure to the rural
community,” said Chad Friese, CEO of CVEC.
Built as a 15 million gallon-a-year ethanol plant in 1996, CVEC has grown into one of Minnesota’s largest ethanol plants with an annual production volume of 50 million gallons
and has become an integral part of Benson’s economy.
As part of the festivities today, CVEC hosted a luncheon and presentations for its shareholders, employees, industry partners and current customers at the Benson Municipal
Airport. This was followed by tours of its ethanol plant for members of the community.
“Our 20-year anniversary celebration is an opportunity to share our appreciation for the support we have had over the last 20 years with everyone that has been part of CVEC’s
continuing success,” Friese said.
CVEC currently has 50 employees and is a member of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association, a non-profit trade association that represents Minnesota’s renewable fuels industry.
“For 20 years, CVEC has played an active role in reducing prices at the pump, giving consumers access to cleaner fuels and reducing our nation’s dependency on foreign oil,” said
Tim Rudnicki, executive director at the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.
Construction of the CVEC plant began in 1995 by the Chippewa Valley Agrafuels Cooperative (CVAC).
“The main reason we started the ethanol plant was to add value to our corn, because in West Central Minnesota, our prices were very low. The ethanol plant not only gave us better prices,
but it created jobs and put money back into the area with dividends,” said Dale Tolifson, a director at CVEC and CVAC.
In total, CVEC has 975 cooperative owners, with the majority living within a 50-mile radius of the plant.
“With 975 local members of the cooperative, an amazing and dedicated staff, and great support from our local communities and area farmers, CVEC is very proud to be able to
continue these efforts for the next 20 years and beyond,” Friese added.
Caption : (From left to right) Chad Friese, CEO of CVEC, Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of American Coalition of Ethanol and Dale Tolifson, board member of CVEC and CVAC at CVEC's 20th Anniversary Celebrations at the Benson Municipal Airport.