Rising corn, construction prices force Idaho ethanol project into bankruptcy

Rising corn prices from flooding, and rising construction prices, have caused the construction halt at the Wahoo, NE ethanol project and a bankruptcy filing by US companies controlled by Renova Energy. Renova had not yet completed construction of a 20 Mgy corn ethanol plant in Heyburn, Idaho, but the company said that it had secured additional financing, would restructure its financing, and move forward with the business. The company’s construction costs increased from an initial projection of $45 million to more than $60 million.

Meanwhile, as many as 4 million acres of corn production have been lost as a result of Midwestern floods, putting further pressure on the 2008 corn crop, which was projected at 11.7 billion bushels by the USDA prior to flooding. July corn futures stood at $7.34 per bushel.

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