LAKE CRYSTAL, Minn. (KEYC) — The closure of the Corn Plus plant in Winnebago last week has many wondering about a major industry here in southern Minnesota.
Volatility in the ethanol industry has prompted many plants to shut down or cut production.
POET Biorefining of Lake Crystal talked with KEYC earlier Tuesday, citing three main reasons for the volatility: Challenging farming weather this year, trade tensions with China and EPA Small Refinery Waivers.
“With the unprecedented amount of waivers that have been handed out, its actually cut biofuel demand by 4 billion gallons and reduced corn demand by 1.4 billion gallons. That’s just added to the additional pain that farmers and ethanol plants have been feeling,” said Plant Manager Kyle Blair.
EPA Small Refinery waivers are intended to help small refineries that can demonstrate a disproportionate economic hardship.
But Blair says there have been way too many given out and to bigger refineries.