Aurora Cooperative Elevator Company Partners with Pacific Ethanol through investment and ownership in Aurora Ethanol Plants.

Aurora Cooperative 7 years ago

– Creates a new company, Pacific Aurora, LLC (PAL), that fully integrates and owns the Aurora assets
of Pacific Ethanol and the Aurora West Grain Elevator of the Aurora Cooperative Elevator Company
– ACEC’s historical and current financial strength creates opportunities such as this for our patronowners
– ACEC will manage the corn receiving operations and origination of all grain on behalf of PAL.
ACEC’s participation will create new marketing opportunities for the ACEC patron-owners.
– ACEC’s ownership in PAL will allow for our patron-owner to participate in
downstream revenue and vertical integration of the grain industry through ethanol.

Aurora, Nebraska December 12, 2016 – Aurora Cooperative Elevator Company, a leading
agricultural retailer in the high plains, is expanding its business through the following transaction:

• Aurora Cooperative Elevator Company (ACEC) has entered into an agreement with Pacific
Ethanol, whereby ACEC will contribute its Aurora West Grain Elevator, loop track, related
land and other assets and Pacific Ethanol will simultaneously contribute its Aurora plant
assets, land and inside loop track into a newly created company, Pacific Aurora LLC (PAL).
ACEC’s contribution of $30.0 million in cash and grain operation assets will result in ACEC
owning 26% and Pacific Ethanol owning 74% of the combined ethanol production, grain
elevator and rail facilities of PAL in Aurora, Nebraska.

Chris Vincent, ACEC’s President and CEO, stated: “We are pleased and excited to deepen our
relationship with Pacific Ethanol. We will be combining Aurora Cooperative ‘s grain terminal and
handling facility with both of Pacific Ethanol’s adjacent bio-refineries. Our plan is to unify both
entities’ operations to gain efficiencies and enhance performance. Aurora Cooperative will use its
years of grain origination and operations experience combined with Pacific Ethanol’s production
expertise to greatly benefit Pacific Aurora, LLC. Bringing both companies’ resources together
benefits our collective stockholders, and adds value and strength to our communities, the State of
Nebraska and both the ethanol and grain industries.”

Neil Koehler, Pacific Ethanol’s President and CEO, stated: “In this series of agreements, we will
accomplish a major milestone for the company by refinancing the Midwest plants’ term debt at
favorable terms, strengthening our balance sheet and significantly lowering our cost of capital. The
expanded strategic relationship with the Aurora Cooperative allows us to directly benefit from
farmer ownership in our ethanol business, which has proven to be a winning combination over the
years in the ethanol industry. These transactions are immediately accretive to our shareholders and
create new growth opportunities for Pacific Ethanol.”

About Aurora Cooperative Grain Company
Aurora Cooperative Elevator Company (ACEC) is one of the largest agricultural retailers in the nation,
ranking 34th in the nation among all agricultural cooperatives. ACEC has been a partner in the success of
agriculture for over 108 years, providing high quality, competitive products and services growers rely on
every day. Headquartered in Aurora Nebraska, ACEC has 80 locations across seven states (Nebraska, Kansas,
Colorado, South Dakota, Texas, Iowa, Maryland) and provides service and expertise in grain, agronomy,
animal nutrition, and energy. In 2016, ACEC had total sales of nearly $1 billion, serviced over 4.3M acres,
merchandised over 100 million bushels of grain, and worked with more than 14,000 owner customers. ACEC
is a well-established, competitive and innovative cooperative built upon providing our owners with
profitable solutions that meet their specific needs. We do this by actively putting our owners’ equity to
work, every day, for their farm, their cooperative and for their future. For more information on ACEC, please
visit www.auroracoop.com.

About Pacific Ethanol, Inc.
Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (PEIX) is the leading producer and marketer of low-carbon renewable fuels in the
Western United States. With the addition of four Midwestern ethanol plants in July 2015, Pacific Ethanol
more than doubled the scale of its operations, entered new markets, and expanded its mission to advance
its position as an industry leader in the production and marketing of low carbon renewable fuels. Pacific
Ethanol owns and operates eight ethanol production facilities, four in the Western states of California,
Oregon and Idaho, and four in the Midwestern states of Illinois and Nebraska. The plants have a combined
production capacity of 515 million gallons per year, produce over one million tons per year of ethanol coproducts
– on a dry matter basis – such as wet and dry distillers grains, wet and dry corn gluten feed,
condensed distillers solubles, corn gluten meal, corn germ, corn oil, distillers yeast and CO2. Pacific Ethanol
markets and distributes ethanol and co-products domestically and internationally. Pacific Ethanol’s
subsidiary, Kinergy Marketing LLC, markets all ethanol for Pacific Ethanol’s plants as well as for third parties,
approaching one billion gallons of ethanol marketed annually based on historical volumes. Pacific Ethanol’s subsidiary, Pacific Ag. Products LLC, markets wet and dry distillers grains. For more information, please visit www.pacificethanol.com.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
Statements and information contained in this communication that refer to or include Pacific Ethanol’s
estimated or anticipated future results, including estimated synergies, or other non-historical expressions of
fact are forward-looking statements that reflect Pacific Ethanol’s current perspective of existing trends and
information as of the date of the communication. Forward looking statements generally will be
accompanied by words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “plan,” “could,” “should,” “estimate,” “expect,”
“forecast,” “outlook,” “guidance,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “will,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,”
“project,” or other similar words, phrases or expressions. Such forward-looking statements include, but are
not limited to, statements about the benefits of the debt financing transactions and the combination of
Pacific Ethanol’s Aurora, Nebraska ethanol production facilities with Aurora Cooperative Elevator Company’s
grain elevator and related real estate and other assets, including future financial and operating results;
Pacific Ethanol’s other plans, objectives, expectations and intentions; and the expected timing of completion
of the transactions. The debt financing and business combination transactions are subject to numerous
conditions to closing. It is important to note that Pacific Ethanol’s plans, objectives, expectations and
intentions are not predictions of actual performance. Actual results may differ materially from Pacific
Ethanol’s current expectations depending upon a number of factors affecting Pacific Ethanol’s business and
risks associated with debt financing and business combination transactions. These factors include, among
others, the inherent uncertainty associated with financial projections; restructuring in connection with the
contemplated business combination transaction; subsequent integration of the grain elevator and related
real estate and other assets and the ability to recognize the anticipated synergies and benefits of the
contemplated business combination transaction; the risk that one or more conditions to closing of the debt
financing or business combination transactions may not be satisfied on a timely basis or at all; the failure of
any of the proposed transactions, all of which are interdependent, to close for any other reason;
fluctuations in prevailing interest rates; adverse economic and market conditions, including for ethanol and
its co-products; fluctuations in the price of oil and gasoline; raw material costs, including ethanol production
input costs; insufficient capital resources; the anticipated size of the markets and continued demand for
Pacific Ethanol’s products; the impact of competitive products and pricing; other risks and uncertainties
normally incident to the grain procurement and ethanol production and marketing industries; changes in
generally accepted accounting principles; successful compliance with laws and governmental regulations
and policies applicable to the combined Aurora, Nebraska facilities; changes in laws or governmental
regulations or policies; the loss of key senior management or staff; and such other risks and uncertainties
detailed in Pacific Ethanol’s periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to Pacific Ethanol’s “Risk Factors” section contained in Pacific Ethanol’s Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 8, 2016 and from time to time in Pacific Ethanol’s
other investor communications. Except as expressly required by law, Pacific Ethanol disclaims any intent or
obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements.

Media Contact:
Kevin Sagehorn
Aurora Cooperative