The plant opened with a splash just over a year ago, and was supposed to make 10 million gallons of the biofuel a year. Today, the plant is operating at just 1/6th capacity and most of the plant's employee's are on "hiatus."
The reason for the slowdown is that the cost of raw materials (in this case, soybeans) is climbing to the point where it has become uneconomical to make biodiesel from them, according to John Oakley, CEO of Michigan Biodiesel on the WWMT news site.
The forecast is that prices will rebound next year, so Oakley is keeping the plant running for now. As he told the TV crew, "If we shut the doors, why would a customer come back to us that had started buying biodiesel from us."
You can also watch the local TV news video at the "Read" link.