Saturday, December 22, 2007

Canton Illinois Ethanol Plant for Sale

In what has become a disaster for investors, the Canton Illinois ethanol plant is now for sale. The plant recently declared bankruptcy. The plant is not finished and many farmer investors are likely to lose their money.

Central Illinois Agriculture Coalition, which is made up of investors and 260 farmers who put up corn and cash for the plant, met Wednesday evening in Canton. It was there they got the official word that financial investments are lost, said Elaine Stone, president of the Fulton County Farm Bureau.

“It was a really disheartening meeting with a lot of disappointment,” she said. “There were people there who were mad, but there were no personal attacks.”

The agriculture coalition owns 71 percent of CIE. Stone said the group has about $200 in the bank and is owed about $50,000 by CIE’s board, which has only two members after recent resignations. Stone said the group doesn’t expect to recoup that money.

It was suggested that banks might be willing to back completion of the project if the coalition would put up more “good faith money,” but Stone said the option “wasn’t even seriously brought to the shareholders.”

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