Nebraska company buys idled Minnesota ethanol plant

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An Omaha energy company announced an agreement to acquire the idled BioFuel Energy Buffalo Lake plant in Fairmont and indicated it has plans to reopen it by the end of the year.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. also purchased an ethanol plant in Wood River, Neb. The company said it will pay approximately $101 million plus working capital at closing for the two plants. The newspaper said that the Fairmont plant is expected to be back in production by the end of 2013.

A press release says that Green Plains says it is North America's fourth largest ethanol producer.

In August, the assets of the Buffalo Lake plant were awarded to the lender that had financed its reopening. A federal bankruptcy judge awarded Purified Renewable Energy’s assets to West Ventures, a unit of a hedge fund that had financed the reopening of the plant.

The BioFuel Energy website said that the Buffalo Lake plant is "...capable of receiving nearly 40 million bushels of corn per year, this facility is one of the largest, most productive plants in the nation" and can produce 115 million gallons of ethanol per year.

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