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Five US Abengoa ethanol plants to change hands

Some 351 million (US) gallons (≈1.325 billion litres) of annual nameplate ethanol capacity is set to change hands as successful bidders are announced in the sale of US ethanol plants by Abengoa Bioenergy Corp., conducted under the provisions of the US Bankruptcy Code.

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Abengoa Bioenergy cellulosic ethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas (photo courtesy Kjell Andersson).
Abengoa Bioenergy cellulosic ethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas (photo courtesy Kjell Andersson). Abengoa Bioenergy cellulosic ethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas (photo courtesy Kjell Andersson).

A subsidiary of Spain-headed renewable energy technology developer and operator Abengoa SA, the sale by Abengoa Bioenergy is part of Abengoa’s ongoing global financial restructuring process of Abengoa SA to resolve bankruptcy proceedings in Spain and the United States (US).

The company has seven ethanol production assets in the US totalling 406 million gallons annual (≈1.54 billion litre) nameplate capacity, including the newly built 25 million gallon (100 million litre) cellulosic ethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas.

Thus far five corn (maize) ethanol plants have sales agreed totalling just over US$355 million.

Omaha, Nebraska-based Green Plains Inc., is to acquire three facilities with a combined annual production capacity of 236 million gallons (≈ 893 million litres) for approximately US$237 million in cash, plus certain working capital adjustments.

The facilities are Madison in Illinois, Mount Vernon in Indiana and York in Nebraska. Upon completion of the acquisitions, Green Plains will own and operate 17 dry mill ethanol facilities with a combined annual production capacity of nearly 1.5 billion gallons (≈ 5.68 billion litres).

We continue to focus on making strategic investments in high-quality assets as we expand our production footprint. The Madison and Mount Vernon plants will give us access to the Mississippi River, supporting our new export terminal planned in Beaumont, Texas. In addition, we will broaden our product offering globally with industrial alcohol production at the York plant, said Todd Becker, President and CEO in a statement.

KE Holdings LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of KAAPA Ethanol LLC of Minden, Nebraska, is to acquire the 90 million gallon (≈347 million litre) Ravenna, Nebraska plant for US$115 million.

According to local media, it was the only bidder. The plant is operational after Abengoa secured a US$41 million bankruptcy loan earlier in March this year. The deal would increase KAAPA Ethanol’s combined annual production capacity to over 300 million gallons (≈ 1.1 billion litres).

Focusing on location Colwich, Kansas-based ICM Inc., is to acquire the shuttered Colwich ethanol facility and property for US$3.1 million. The plant has a nameplate capacity of 25 million gallons (≈95 million litres).

ICM values this location in Colwich and we are evaluating the best way to exercise that opportunity, said Dave VanderGriend, founder and CEO of ICM in a statement.

The above sale agreements have been approved by the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and are expected to be completed by September 30.

According to Nebraska local media DTN, Los Angeles-based Ocean Park Advisers, the company hired by Abengoa to sell the Hugoton plant will hold an auction in October and are confident that a buyer will be found.

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