* Ethanol plant in Walhalla to close in April
* Sixty-one jobs to be eliminated
* ADM operates six other ethanol plants
By Michael Hirtzer
Feb 6 Archer Daniels Midland on
Monday said it will close its ethanol plant in Walhalla, North
Dakota, marking the first such closure for the agribusiness
giant that last month announced the elimination of 1,000 jobs.
The plant will permanently close in April, resulting in the
loss of 61 jobs. ADM will supply its customers with ethanol and
animal feed products from its six other ethanol plants in Iowa,
Illinois, Nebraska and Minnesota, company spokeswoman Jessie
The North Dakota biofuel refinery is located about 5 miles
(8 km) from the Canadian border and far away from the main corn
growing areas in the U.S. Midwest. It was the northernmost U.S.
ethanol plant, according to the Renewable Fuels Association.
"ADM determined that the Walhalla facility was not
delivering sufficient returns because its geographic location
and scale made it difficult to compete in the marketplace,"
The plant has a 30-million-gallons-per-year capacity while
ADM's six other plants have a combined capacity of about 1.72
billion gallons, McKinney said.
"This closure is to optimize our U.S. corn processing
operations. It is not related to the expiration of VEETC," she
The Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit, or VEETC, was a
tax incentive providing 45 cents per gallon to blenders who
mixed ethanol with gasoline. The credit expired at the end of
Ethanol futures slumped to the lowest levels in a
year at the Chicago Board of Trade in the wake of the credit
expiration, while ethanol inventories last week increased to
20.95 million barrels, a record high, the Energy Information
About 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop is expected to be
used this year in ethanol production, according to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture.
ADM last week reported sharply lower earnings, with the
company earning less money in almost all of its major units as
it struggles with high commodity costs. Earlier in January, ADM
said it was reducing its workforce by 1,000 jobs worldwide in
the first broad reduction in company history.