A Kansas ethanol producer is blaming the drought for a shutdown coming this fall. Officials with East Kansas Agri-Energy, LLC in Garnett, KS announced they will temporarily suspend production operations beginning October 1st, 2012:
The company cited the prolonged drought conditions as having a negative impact on availability of corn and rising feedstock prices as the main reasons for the halt of production. Additionally, the demand for gasoline is down resulting in surplus ethanol stocks. These challenges led to the Company to reduce plant production capacity by 20 percent on April 1, 2012.
Bill Pracht, Chairperson of the board said, “We have studied the situation extensively and with the challenging economic conditions the Board of Directors has determined that it is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders to halt production at this time.”
“We will monitor the situation with the hope to resume production of the facility as soon as market conditions allow,” Pracht added.
The 42-million-gallon-a-year plant has been producing ethanol since 2005.