The History of Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company

Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC) began as a dream between two Benson, MN, men more than two decades ago. They, wanted to make the most of the area’s corn production while also stabilizing electricity rates. Their answer: the Chippewa Valley Agrafuels Cooperative (CVAC), a group of more than 650 shareholders that included producers, elevators, and local investors.


CVAC became the general partner of the ethanol partnership (CVEC), and construction on the facility began in June 1995. The first bushel of corn was ground on April 26, 1996, marking the start of full operation at CVEC.

Today, CVEC has the capacity to produce 50 million gallons of ethanol annually. It is still a small-town Minnesota company, but has grown to 975 cooperative owners, with the majority living within a 50-mile radius of the plant. CVEC is recognized at both the federal and state levels for efficient production and leadership in shaping ethanol policy.

Since beginning operations in 1996, CVEC has grown and diversified and counts our culture of innovation as a significant strength that has led to solid returns for our member owners. Currently the Company has ownership interest in four other ethanol companies and is a founding owner of Renewable Products Marketing Group (RPMG).

RPMG has grown into one of the premier ethanol and co-product marketing firms in North America. (For more information see www.rpmgllc.com.) With RPMG’s logistical ability and industry contacts, CVEC has been able to fulfill customer order and placement needs with product staged in terminals throughout the United States or adjacent to export facilities. RPMG’s motto is also a CVEC guiding principle, “We take care of our customers.”

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