PITTSBURGH, July 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VeraSun Energy Corporation (NYSE:VSE), the nation's second-largest ethanol producer, today announced an expansion of its initiative with General Motors Corp. (GM) to boost the availability and awareness of E85, a fuel blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Together with convenience store retailer Sheetz, Inc. and the State of Pennsylvania, the companies announced plans for the addition of three new fueling stations offering VE85(TM), VeraSun's branded E85, at select Sheetz locations in the Pittsburgh area.
Presiding over the event, Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell said, "One of the biggest obstacles to greater use of E85 ethanol is availability -- especially at the retail level. Here in Pennsylvania, we are leading the charge to greater accessibility as the first state in the Northeast to open publicly available retail E85 stations. Today I am proud to preside over the opening of yet another thanks to this commitment by GM, VeraSun and Sheetz. This is a good step forward and we commend them on their efforts to increase awareness of this viable alternative fuel and help drive consumer demand in our state."
VeraSun will be supplying VE85(TM) to select Sheetz stores, beginning this week at the new Pleasant Hills location (on Route 51 and Lewis Run Road), and expanding to two additional stores by later this year.
"We are excited to continue to expand our partnership with General Motors and to welcome a new retail partner, Sheetz, in making VE85(TM) available to consumers in Pittsburgh," said Bill Honnef, VeraSun senior vice president, sales and marketing. "We would like to thank GM, Sheetz, Gov. Rendell and the State of Pennsylvania for their leadership in working with VeraSun to increase the availability of E85 and promote the many benefits of using this domestically-produced, renewable fuel."
Sheetz, based in Altoona, Pa., is one of America's fastest-growing family- owned and operated convenience store chains with more than $3.4 billion in revenue in 2005, 322 locations and more than 10,000 employees.
"Sheetz is proud to be the first large retail chain in the state of Pennsylvania to offer customers VeraSun's E85 as an alternative fuel choice," said Louie Sheetz, executive vice president of marketing, Sheetz. "We thank VeraSun for helping us make this homegrown, renewable fuel available to our customers. We also appreciate the support of Gov. Rendell, GM and our partners in promoting E85's availability and working to increase consumer awareness."
Today's announcement marks the fourth collaboration in four states that GM and VeraSun have entered with a third-party retailer since the companies began working together to promote awareness of E85. The first initiative, launched last May in Sioux Falls, S.D., put VeraSun's VE85(TM) pumps in seven prominent local stations. In the Chicago metro area, what began as a 20-location effort in February has already expanded to include 32 sites, and the initial four outlets in Minneapolis-St. Paul have grown to 16 in the last four months.
"GM already has more than two million vehicles on the road today that are capable of using E85 ethanol fuel," said Elizabeth Lowery, GM Vice President of Environment and Energy. "We appreciate VeraSun and Sheetz for joining our efforts to make this great fuel alternative available to more people in Pittsburgh. We also appreciate the support of Gov. Rendell and the State of Pennsylvania as we continue to promote the use of E85 ethanol and its many benefits for the environment, the economy and consumers.
"The success of our partnership with VeraSun is evident by the dramatic rise in stations carrying the alternative fuel," said Lowery. "Americans are clearly recognizing the multiple benefits of using E85."
VeraSun is committed to developing markets for renewable fuels and helping consumers realize a future that includes renewable energy. Consumers interested in learning more about VE85(TM), and where to find VE85(TM) stations, can visit http://www.VE85.com .
About VeraSun Energy Corporation
VeraSun Energy Corporation is the second-largest ethanol producer in the U.S., based on production. The company has two operating production facilities located in Aurora, South Dakota and Fort Dodge, Iowa, is constructing a third facility in Charles City, Iowa, and has two additional facilities under development in Welcome, Minnesota and Northwestern Iowa. Upon completion of the new facilities, VeraSun will have an annual production capacity of approximately 560 million gallons of ethanol per year.
VeraSun's branded E85 is currently available at more than 70 retail locations across the Midwest. The company markets VeraSun E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline for flexible fuel vehicles (FFV), directly to fuel retailers under the brand VE85(TM). For more information, please visit the VeraSun websites at http://www.verasun.com or http://www.VE85.com .
General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader for 75 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 327,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2005, 9.17 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. More information on GM can be found at http://www.gm.com .
Established in 1952 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Sheetz, Inc. is one of America's fastest growing family-owned and operated convenience store chains, with more than $3.4 billion in revenue and more than 10,000 employees. The company operates 322 convenience locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina. Sheetz provides an award-winning menu of Made-to-Order subs, sandwiches and salads, which are ordered through unique touch-screen order point terminals. Sheetz currently ranks 87th on the Forbes list of largest private companies and has received awards in both Ohio and Pennsylvania for being named among their Best Places to Work in 2006. All Sheetz convenience stores are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For more information, visit http://www.sheetz.com .
Source: VeraSun Energy Corporation
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