One of Wisconsin's nine ethanol plants has filed for bankruptcy. The board of Renew Energy in Jefferson voted this week to seek Chapter-11 protections. Board chairman Paul Olsen blames it on lower revenues, and a bank's refusal to renew its operating loan. But he tells the Wisconsin Ag Connection that Renew Energy will keep making ethanol, and ill continue its state-of-the-art dry-milling of corn.
Josh Morby, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance says it's a tough time for the industry with probably no ethanol producers in the state making money.
Morby attributes the low cost of gasoline as one reason for demand being down for the biofuel. He believes gas will spike in price again. Until then plants are looking at ways to become more efficient which may include reducing energy use in production or creating new products
On Monday, US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he wanted the government to create and promote "best practices" for making corn-based ethanol plants more efficient.