The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Business

January 3, 2014

Ergon acquires Bunge’s Interest in Miss. plant

VICKSBURG, Miss. — Ergon Inc. says it now the sole owner of a shuttered ethanol production plant at the Port of Vicksburg.

The company says in a news release Thursday that is looking at ways to put the facility back into use.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

With an annual throughput capacity of 54 million gallons, Bunge-Ergon Vicksburg, LLC was one of the largest producers of ethanol in the southeastern United States until operations were suspended in December 2012.

Ergon Ethanol Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the petroleum refining and services company, bought out St. Louis-based Bunge North America Inc.’s interest in the plant and will do business as Ergon BioFuels LLC. The plant opened in 2008.

“This transaction allows us to look at alternative feedstocks, as well as how the plant may be used for products beyond traditional ethanol production,” said Don Davis, president of Ergon’s refining and marketing division. “In addition, we feel the Ergon BioFuels facility will be synergistic with nearby Ergon Refining, Inc.’s opportunities for an expanded product base.”

Corn prices in 2013 fell off as dramatically as they had risen in 2012 when the worst drought in the U.S. since the 1930s damaged harvests, a comparison of price trends shows.

The Vicksburg plant started processing corn to make ethanol in June 2008. Annual ethanol production goals were set at about 54 million gallons, but by 2010 the company reported lower numbers.

About 45 people had worked in the plant at the peak of full-on production.

 

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