South Bend Ethanol acquired; $230M expansion planned
The North American subsidiary of Germany-based Verbio AG is making its move into Indiana.
Verbio North America Holdings Corp. announced Monday it has acquired South Bend Ethanol LLC, the state’s first large scale ethanol production plant, though financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed. However, Verbio said it plans to invest $230 million over the next three years to expand and develop the plant into a modern refinery that will include the production of renewable natural gas.
The company integrating the existing ethanol production at the plant with the RNG production proecess will create higher efficiencies and improved sustainability.
“We believe this transaction provides an excellent path for Verbio to further strengthen its North America business and growth strategy,” Stefan Schreiber, executive board member for North America at Verbio AG, said in a news release. “The site offers a competitive location as well as existing infrastructure and meets our requirements for access to the natural gas grid, electricity, feedstock sources and water supply.”
Once fully operational, the plant will be able to produce 85 million gallons of corn ethanol and 2.8 billion cubic feet of RNG annually, Verbio said.
Construction on the expansion is expected to begin in the next several months, with commercial RNG production slated to begin in 2026. Verbio said it will retain all 61 employees at the plant and plans to add eight more by the end of 2025.
Additionally, Verbio plans to continue procuring the 28 million bushels of corn it needs each year for ethanol production from local sources.
Part of the expansion will include the installation of new equipment, including anaerobic digestion tanks used in the production of RNG. Verbio said it will use the stillage resulting from the ethanol production and use that as feedstock for RNG.
“We see a continued strong demand for renewable energy solutions, especially in North American industrial process industries,” Verbio AG CEO Claus Sauter said. “This opens up promising economic perspectives for us and supports Verbio`s growth and internationalization strategy.”
The South Bend facility will be Verbio’s second U.S.-based plant. The company began operations in 2021 at its plant in Nevada, Iowa and plans to begin ethanol production later this year.
Inside INdiana Business will have more on the expansion in Tuesday’s INside Edge Midday Report.