Winnebago ethanol plant could be up and running

Local News

There’s a potential buyer for the Corn Plus ethanol plant in Winnebago that was closed a year ago.

City Administrator Jake Skluzacek says closing of the sale scheduled for Thursday did not take place.

“It was pushed back due to a couple of concerns the buyer had with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency permitting and availability of electricians,” says Skluzacek. “He did not know when the closing would be rescheduled to.”

Corn Plus closed its doors last August because it was reportedly losing money monthly and its financial agreement with a primary lender was set to expire soon.

A letter to the more than 600 shareholders of the locally owned cooperative explained the company’s board of directors considered many options, including selling the facility and financial restructuring.

Skluzacek says city officials have been meeting with the potential buyer to work on agreements before the plant begins operating.

“They are looking at doing similar things that Corn Plus has done in the past,” he says. “The only agreements with the city would be focused around sewer rates as the site utilizes a well for their water.”

Corn Plus — operating since 1984 and the first ethanol plant built in the state — employed nearly 40 workers when it closed.

The closing of Corn Plus also affected the operations of Dixie Carbonic, located next to the plant. At that time, it also employed about 40 workers and used carbon dioxide from the ethanol producer to make dry ice.

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