Pacific Ethanol, Inc., the leading West Coast-based marketer and producer of ethanol, on Sept. 29 announced the start-up of its Stockton, Calif. facility. The company will hold a grand opening ceremony for the plant on Oct. 10, 2008.

“The start-up of our Stockton plant marks the achievement of our goal of 220 million gallons of annual production capacity and dramatically increases the availability of renewable fuels produced in the state of California,” said Neil Koehler, Pacific Ethanol’s President and CEO.

“As the largest fuel market in the United States, California will benefit from locally produced ethanol and its feed co-products. We are excited to celebrate this milestone with the community,” Koehler added. “PEI’s California ethanol production contributes significantly to reducing CO2 emissions as called for in Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Low Carbon Fuels Standard executive order,” Koehler said.

The 60 million gallon per year Stockton facility is located at the Port of Stockton, with access to water, rail and road transportation. This San Joaquin Valley destination is home to over one million dairy cows, providing a ready local market for wet distiller’s grains (WDG) and other ethanol co-products. The facility will process 21 million bushels of corn per year, producing both ethanol and 500,000 tons of WDG annually.

Pacific Ethanol is the largest West Coast-based marketer and producer of ethanol. Pacific Ethanol has ethanol plants in Madera and Stockton, Calif.; Boardman, Ore.; and Burley, Idaho. Pacific Ethanol also owns a 42 percent interest in Front Range Energy, LLC which owns an ethanol plant in Windsor, Colo.

Pacific Ethanol has achieved its goal of 220 million gallons per year of ethanol production capacity in 2008 and has the goal to increase total production capacity to 420 million gallons per year in 2010.

Pacific Ethanol is also working to identify and develop other renewable fuel technologies, such as cellulose-based ethanol production and bio-diesel.