(Des Moines) — A local ethanol plant has suspended production “until further notice.” Plymouth Energy in Merrill is one of at least 10 ethanol plants in the country to temporarily shut down. Three others have closed.
Monte Shaw is executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.
Shaw says this supply-demand imbalance is caused by waivers federal officials are granting big oil companies — so refiners don’t have to blend as much ethanol into gasoline.
Shaw says the past 18 months have been a very rough on the industry.
The board of Plymouth Energy issued a statement, saying all existing corn contracts will be honored and they hope to resume production “in the not too distant future.” A coalition of groups representing ag and biofuels interests on Wednesday asked a federal court to allow a 2018 lawsuit challenging the E-P-A’s management of renewable fuels policy to proceed.
Shaw says if E-P-A policy doesn’t change over the next few months, more ethanol plant managers may consider temporarily shutting down production.
Shaw says if the E-P-A were to adhere to the rules outlined by the Renewable Fuels Standard, there would be an “immediate impact” on corn prices and ethanol production would quickly rebound.