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State's oldest ethanol plant shuts down, idling 40

SOUTH BEND — Indiana's oldest ethanol plant has shut down indefinitely.

New Energy Corp. President Russ Abarr tells the South Bend Tribune the plant shut down last week, idling 40 employees.

Abarr says an undetermined number of workers will stay on the job as the plant that opened in 1984 prepares to remain idle for at least several months.

Abarr says he believes the plant will reopen sometime in the future because of its proximity to corn supplies, the ethanol market, transportation infrastructure and the South Bend labor supply. He says the plant is for sale.

Abarr cites high corn prices, large ethanol inventories, lower gas prices and lower fuel demand as factors leading to the shutdown.

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