WINNEBAGO, Minn. (KEYC) — Starting production in 1994, Corn Plus in Winnebago is one of the more established ethanol production plants in the state of Minnesota.
When news came down today that they were shutting down, it was a tough blow for all involved.
“Hopefully it can be opened again but we don’t know when or how,” said Corn Plus Board Member Don DeLanghe.
With an ethanol market hardly allowing any margins to make a profit, Delanghe says many of the smaller guys are getting cut out.
“The market just won’t quite give us a break and I guess when you’re in the commodity business that’s the risk you take,” said DeLanghe.
Back in May, the Trump administration said it would allow the year–round sale of gasoline with a higher percentage of ethanol.
Although good for ethanol plants, many convenience stores refuse to sell it because of the need to change pumps.
“The demand? It looks like it should continue to increase, especially with the 15% coming on, but this all takes a lot of time,” added DeLanghe.
Recent production at the plant has actually stayed relatively even, the market is just killing the bottom line.
“They’ve done such a wonderful job getting the production up where it should be and kind of revamping the whole plant so it’s working very well. We just can’t get the margins,” said DeLanghe.
Corn Plus did not release the number of employees this will effect and will remain hopeful they can one day resume production.
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WINNEBAGO, Minn. (KEYC) — Corn Plus ethanol plant in Winnebago is reportedly shutting down.
A member on the plant’s board of directors confirmed to KEYC the plant will shut down as the industry battles low commodities prices.
He says production has been going well but the lack of a viable export market has stalled profit.
According to the board member, most employees will be laid off.
“We’ve been doing the best to get this plant up and efficient. Over the last couple of years we’ve made wonderful strides, the plant has been running marvelously. But the market just won’t quite give us a break and when you’re in the commodities business, I guess that’s just the risk you take,” said Corn Plus Board Member Don DeLanghe.
DeLanghe says the plant could reopen under certain circumstances like new ownership of the plant.
We will have more updates on this story tonight on KEYC News 12 at 6.