Ethanol plant water rate charge approved by county

By Ashley Bunton -

The water rate charge for the Madison Mills Water Supply that goes to the Valero Renewables-Bloomingburg ethanol plant has been approved for 2017.

For this year, the water rate charge was calculated to be $1.47 for every 1,000 gallons of raw water. The measure was approved Jan. 20 by the Fayette County Commissioners.

The sanitary engineer, Steven Luebbe, at the Fayette County Department of Sanitary Services, adjusts the water rate charge each year. The annual rate charge adjustment is to take into consideration inflation, and is adjusted in accordance with the contract, called the Raw Water Supply Agreement, between Fayette County (the suppliers of the raw water) and ASA Bloomingburg, LLC (an entity of Valero). The contract was executed in 2007 with ethanol production beginning in 2008.

“At the time, ethanol was very hot and people were trying to build plants all over the place. When they came here and looked at Fayette County, we were happy to work with them, because it was going to bring jobs into the county and it also provides a market for the corn for the farmers,” said Luebbe.

The 2017 water rate charge of $1.47 is a few cents lower than the 2016 water rate, which was $1.51.

Luebbe calculates the adjustment for the water rate year based on the annual Producers Price Index published by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“We do sell them about 1.4 million gallons of raw water per day,” said Luebbe. “They average about a thousand gallons a minute.”

The contract between Fayette County and ASA Bloomingburg, LLC stipulates the county will deliver an average of 1,000 gallons of raw water per minute, 24 hours a day, to the plant. The contract states the daily demand is expected to range between 800 and 1,400 gallons of raw water per minute, 24 hours a day.

Valero paid $689,785.92 to Fayette County for 13,746,910.00 gallons of raw water for a one-year period between December 2015 and December 2016.

By Ashley Bunton

Reach Ashley (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton

Reach Ashley (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton