Winnebago ethanol plant reopens

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 4:26 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 6:34 PM CST
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WINNEBAGO, Minn. (KEYC) - In August 2019, the Corn Plus ethanol plant in Winnebago closed its doors. Over two years later, those doors have reopened under new management.

The plant originally opened in 1993 and was one of the first corn ethanol plants to open in Minnesota.

When the plant closed in 2019, it took local jobs and convenience to local farmers with it.

“Specific side of city revenues, it hurt the city a lot, but more than that it hurt surrounding businesses and the community as a whole to lose forty people coming to town every day,” explained Winnebago City Administrator Jacob Skluzacek.

The plant was purchased by Greenfield Global in October 2020, and the company hopes to add 48 million gallons of biofuel production per year with the plant.

Greenfield Global is Canada’s biggest corn-based ethanol producer, and the Winnebago plant is the company’s first ethanol plant in the United States.

The company is partnering with the Minnesota-based Central Farm Service to supply corn to the plant from its 17 grain facilities across southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.

The plant reopening has also restored a market for crops that were sorely missing.

“It means the world to these farmers, that they can have a place to bring their corn. It helps the community in many different ways. Economic, even just seeing those new employees moving to town it’s a kind of morale boost for the area, so we’re just definitely glad to have them here and invested in the community,” said Skluzacek.

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