Struggling ethanol plant in SW Minnesota sold

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The Heron Lake BioEnergy plant has been sold for $55 million.

MPR reports the Guardian Cos., based in Janesville in southern Minnesota, purchased the 60 million-gallon-a-year ethanol producer, which is struggling financially.

The Heron Lake plant, located in Jackson County in southwest Minnesota, cost more than $100 million to build. Through the first nine months of 2012, the plant lost nearly $3 million.

The bargain price of the transaction reflects tough times in the renewable fuel business. There is oversupply of ethanol, while prices for corn, ethanol's main ingredient, soared to record levels.

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