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Mead ethanol/methane plant takes bankruptcy

E3 BioFuels, the Mead, Neb., closed loop system integrating cattle and an ethanol plant profiled in Delta Farm Press (April 4) is not operational and has filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Prime BioSolutions, which developed the technology used in the Mead facility, was a minority partner in the Mead plant. Prime BioSolutions Senior Vice President Patrick Tracy noted the company is in the process of acquiring the Mead facility, “so we can get it back up and running.”

The closure of the Mead facility was related to mechanical problems not associated with the design of the plant, according to Tracy. Plans for Prime BioSolutions to build a closed loop system in Dakota County, Nebraska, have been put on hold in part due to high corn prices, according to Tracy.

According to a press release from Prime BioSolutions, dated late 2007, “during construction, and in attempting to reach full production, the plant encountered significant construction delays and mechanical/equipment failures which delayed the startup of the plant. Continued mechanical/equipment failures prevented the plant from reaching full production. The deterioration of the ethanol market, coupled with the plant operating at materially less than full capacity, made the economics untenable and the reorganization allowed under Chapter 11 necessary.”

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