Oil refiner Valero Energy Corp (www.valero.com) said all seven of the ethanol plants it bought in March from a bankrupt producer, VeraSun Energy (www.verasun.com), are now running at capacity and making money, according to a report by Reuters (www.reuters.com).

Reuters reports that Valero began production at the 110-million-gallon-per-year ethanol plant in Welcome, Minn., during the first week of July. Four of the other ethanol plants acquired by the company were already running. Two of them, one in Nebraska and one in Iowa, had to be restarted.

The falling price of grain, and corn in particular, have enabled Valero to turn a profit at its newly acquired ethanol plants. Reuters reports that the fall in the price of corn was aided by the recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (www.usda.gov) that farmers are preparing to harvest their second largest corn crop ever.

To read the full Reuters report on this story, click here.