By Tom Larson
The DENCO ethanol plant in Morris will cease operations temporarily, its general manager said Monday.
DENCO's Gerald Bachmeier said the company stopped taking corn deliveries on Monday and that the plant would close "until the economics change."
DENCO will be suspending production due to the current challenging economics prevailing in the ethanol industry, Bachmeier said.
"The decision was made to ensure that DENCO can preserve available liquidity," Bachmeier said. "We do not see a lot of merit in running the plant in an environment where negative margins would simply have us eroding our available capital. By taking this action we are looking to ensure that we can meet all of our commitments to our vendors, lenders and employees and will be positioning the facility so that we are able to recommence operations once profitability returns to the ethanol business."
DENCO produces about 25 million gallons of ethanol per year and employs about 38 people. Key operations personnel will be kept on the job and about 25 workers will be laid off.
The Golden Lyk and Greenway Consulting arms of DENCO will continue operations, Bachmeier said.
DENCO processes about 9 million bushels of corn per year.
Almost all the corn DENCO had contracted for has been processed, Bachmeier said.
There are plans and environmental permits in place for a second, 100 million gallon per year plant in Alberta, but those plans have been on hold.