Alchem ethanol plant in North Dakota shuts down

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]

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