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Continued: Easing corn prices give relief to the ethanol industry

  • Article by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 18, 2013 - 11:06 AM

In a small sign that E-15 is gaining acceptance, Petro Serve USA last week announced it would begin selling the blend at Petro stations in four North Dakota cities. Ridderbusch said Blue Flint supplies Petro with ethanol.

Two Minnesota plants idle

Two Minnesota ethanol plants are among the 20 U.S. ethanol refineries that remain closed.

In Fairmont, one of the state’s largest ethanol refineries has been shuttered for a year. Denver-based owner, Biofuel Energy Corp., has been looking for a buyer but hasn’t gotten an acceptable offer, the company said in is quarterly financial report.

The company, which owns a still-operating ethanol plant in Nebraska, said it has defaulted on loan agreements and has limited liquidity, raising “substantial doubt” that it can keep going. It lost $4.7 million during the three months ending in June — the sixth consecutive unprofitable quarter, but the smallest loss so far.

Another plant, in Buffalo Lake, Minn., recently was sold in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to its main investor, West Ventures, a unit of a New York hedge fund. The plant has been plagued by problems, including two fires and wastewater regulatory issues.

“We are hard at work to get things going again, but there are a lot of issues we will need to overcome,” Jed Latkin, a West Ventures executive who is overseeing the restart, said in an e-mail.

 

Staff writer Patrick Kennedy contributed to this report.

David Shaffer • 612-673-7090 Twitter: @ShafferStrib

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