Walhalla ethanol plant closesThe ADM Ethanol Plant in Walhalla, N.D., will permanently close in April, putting 61 people out of work. Archer Daniels Midland, which owns and operates the facility, made the announcement Monday.
By: By Kevin Bonham , Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
GRAND FORKS — The ADM Ethanol Plant in Walhalla, N.D., will permanently close in April, putting 61 people out of work.
Archer Daniels Midland, which owns and operates the facility, made the announcement Monday.
ADM will supply its customers with ethanol and animal feed products from its six other ethanol plants in Cedar Rapids and Clinton, Iowa; Decatur and Peoria, Ill.; Columbus, Neb.; and Marshall, Minn., according to company spokeswoman Jessie McKinney.
It has a 30-million-gallon-per-year capacity while ADM’s six other plants have a combined capacity of about 1.72 billion gallons, she said.
“ADM determined that the Walhalla facility was not delivering sufficient returns because its geographic location and scale made it difficult to compete in the marketplace,” she said.
The plant, located about 5 miles south of the Canadian border, is the northernmost ethanol production facility in the nation, according to the Renewable Fuels Association.
“This closure is to optimize our U.S. corn processing operations. It is not related to the expiration of VEETC,” she added.
The Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit, or VEETC, was a tax incentive providing 45 cents per gallon to blenders who mixed ethanol with gasoline. The credit expired at the end of 2011.
A receptionist at the Walhalla plant referred all calls to the company’s corporate headquarters.
It is ADM’s first announced closure since the company announced last month that it would eliminate 1,000 jobs, according to Reuters News Service.
The plant, which originally opened in 1985 as Dawn Enterprises, has had a checkered history, its fate tied largely to fluctuating gas prices and politically challenging subsidies and other tax incentives.
It changed hands twice in the late-1980s and the early 1990s and closed and reopened several times throughout its history.
Kevin Bonham is a reporter at the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.