US ethanol producer files for bankruptcy protection

05 April 2011 17:35  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethanol producer Clean Burn Fuels filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and it expects to emerge later this year, a company executive said on Tuesday.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection because ethanol prices have not kept up with rising corn prices, said Ed Sanz, chief restructuring officer.

Clean Burn Fuels has an ethanol plant in Raeford, North Carolina, that can produce 60m gal/year (227m litres/year), expandable to 220m gal/year, the company said.

The company had its first full month of production in October 2010, Sanz said.

However, the company suspended production in early March because of high corn costs and weak ethanol prices, Clean Burn said.

Despite discussions with lenders and vendors, Clean Burn has not been able to reach an agreement on how to make the company profitable again, it said in a statement.

By the late summer or early autumn, the new corn crop will become available, giving Clean Burn a better idea about corn costs and ethanol prices, the company said.

By then, the company would know how much money it will need to emerge from bankruptcy protection, it said.

"There is a lot at stake, and we have a brand-new facility," Sanz said.

For more on ethanol visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Al Greenwood
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