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Published April 23, 2013, 10:14 AM

Southern Minnesota ethanol plant shuts down again

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A recently reopened southern Minnesota ethanol plant has shut down again and its top executives have been fired amid a bitter bankruptcy fight.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A recently reopened southern Minnesota ethanol plant has shut down again and its top executives have been fired amid a bitter bankruptcy fight.

Only 10 of Purified Renewable Energy's 23 employees remain on the job. And the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reports the Buffalo Lake plant has just enough borrowed money for a few weeks.

The former Minnesota Energy plant was built in 1997 and is one of the smallest in the state. It was closed for 2 ½ years but resumed production of corn ethanol last year after a farmers cooperative sold it to new investors financed by a New York hedge fund.

The reopened plant never hit its 25 million-gallon-a-year capacity. Two fires last fall disrupted operations, and the entire ethanol industry has struggled with high corn prices.

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