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Ethanol plant sold to Green Plains Renewable Energy

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Green Plains Renewable Energy announced it purchased the BioFuel Energy  facility in Fairmont. The ethanol plant has been closed for nearly 14 months.

Omaha, Neb.- based-Green Plains also purchased the BioFuel plant in Wood River, Neb.  The company said it paid approximately $101 million for the two facilities.  

Both the Minnesota and Nebraska plants can produce about 110 million gallons of ethanol a year. Green Plains said it plans to reopen the Fairmont plant by the end of this year.

The last two years have been a time of low profits for most ethanol plants because of high corn prices.  The main factor in the rise was lower corn production caused by drought conditions.

Green Plains is the nation's fourth largest ethanol producer, selling about 1 billion gallons of the corn-based fuel a year.  

Fairmont will be the company's second Minnesota plant, it also owns an ethanol operation in Fergus Falls.

In a previous, unrelated sale earlier this year, Granite Falls Energy bought a majority interest in a struggling ethanol plant in Heron Lake, Minn.