DALLAS, TEXAS, U.S. — Mount Vernon, Indiana, U.S. city and chamber officials, state and county representatives, business owners, residents, employees and company representatives marked the grand opening of Aventine Renewable Energy's Mount Vernon ethanol plant on April 6.

Company officials provided plant tours and attendees learned how the company is providing American jobs and producing American fuel to serve consumers and companies across the U.S.

"This clean technology facility and our local employees are phenomenal. This plant is a jewel in our cap and we're honored to be among Indiana's most innovative businesses," said Thomas Manuel the company's chief executive officer. "I am happy to report that we are already ahead of production goals. Today, we mark a successful launch and look forward to a long future in Mount Vernon."

The ceremony celebrated the much anticipated completion and start of one of Aventine's latest ethanol and dried distillers grain (DDG) facilities, one of the newest in the nation. Aventine emerged from bankruptcy in March 2010, named a new management team, and restarted construction to complete the Mount Vernon plant.

The Mount Vernon plant was completed in November 2010, with the first grind date being Dec. 1. It has been gradually increasing production and will have an annual capacity of 110 million gallons. This more than doubles the amount of ethanol produced in the local area and provides an additional market for American corn producers to sell their crops.

The plant employs approximately 45 local men and women, providing a strong economic infusion in terms payroll, taxes and regulatory fees. The facility is the largest plant at any of Indiana's ports, and in its first four short months of operation has helped the port increase tonnage.

Strategically located on the Port of Indiana, Aventine's Mount Vernon facility can efficiently utilize barge transportation on the Ohio River, and trucks and trains to get its locally produced ethanol to the rest of America.