Local Ethanol Plant Closes Again 24 Apr 13

The recently re-opened ethanol plant in Buffalo Lake has shut down again, and its top executives have now been fired amid a bitter bankruptcy fight. Only 10 of Purified Renewable Energy’s 23 employees remain on the job. And the plant reportedly has just enough borrowed money for a few weeks. The former Minnesota Energy plant was built in 1997 and is 1 of the smallest ethanol plants in the state. It was closed for over 2 years, but resumed production last year after a farmers cooperative sold it to new investors financed by a New York hedge fund. The re-opened plant never hit its 25-million gallon a year capacity. Two fires last fall disrupted operations, and the entire ethanol industry has been struggling with high corn prices.