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Lender awarded shuttered ethanol plant in bankruptcy proceedings

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The assets of an ethanol plant in Buffalo Lake have been awarded to the lender that financed its reopening.

The Associated Press reports that a federal bankruptcy judge awarded Purified Renewable Energy’s assets to West Ventures, a unit of a hedge fund that financed the rebirth of the plant last year.

The Star Tribune reported that production at the plant halted in March after two fires and wastewater compliance issues. It has been maintained so that it could reopen. It's not clear when production might resume.

The plant was purchased for $5 million, which will be subtracted from the $18 million that West Ventures loaned to Purified to reopen. Only West Ventures made a bid on the plant. Another company expressed interest, but didn’t tender an official bid.

Two bankruptcy court battles are pending. One case set for trial in December alleges West Ventures breached its fiduciary duty when it declared the operation in default and seized control of the Purified board of directors in March. West Ventures denied any wrongdoing.

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