A recently reopened ethanol plant in Buffalo Lake, Minn., has closed again, and its top executives have been fired amid a bankruptcy fight.
Only 10 of Purified Renewable Energy’s 23 employees remain on the job, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported, and the plant has only enough borrowed money for a few weeks.
The former Minnesota Energy plant was built in 1997. It was closed for 2.5 years but resumed production of corn ethanol in 2012 after a farmers’ cooperative sold it to new investors. The reopened plant never hit its 25 million-gallon-a-year capacity and was disrupted by two fires in the fall of 2012, as well as financial struggles brought on by high corn prices.