Well, whaddya think of this? A 25-year, 10-million-gallon-per-year Alchem ethanol
plant in Grafton, North Dakota is shutting down. You can probably guess the reason: low price for ethanol due to the high price of corn. For at least the time being, the plants 40 employees are out of a job (or will be, once the two- to three-week supply of corn is used up). Harold Newman, president of Alchem, told the Grand Forks Herald that when (if?) ethanol prices improve, something he (and Citibank
) expects will happen, the Alchem plant will re-open.
Prices for North Dakota: a bushel of corn costs $3 and can make three gallons of ethanol. The "rack price" (what distributors pay) for a gallon of ethanol is currently around $1.70. Earlier, it was $2.50. No figure was given where the plant could afford to start back up.
[Source: Ryan Bakken / Grand Forks Herald]