After a three-year run of producing fuel, the biodiesel plant in Beatrice is winding down operations.
Flint Hills Resources announced Monday that the company plans to indefinitely idle its Duonix biodiesel plant later this month.
The Beatrice Duonix plant specializes in processing corn oil and greases into biodiesel. Low soybean prices, the primary feedstock for most other biodiesel producers, have put the Duonix plant at a “significant competitive disadvantage” and the company does not expect those conditions to change.
The statement added that government intervention in the marketplace, including the federal blenders tax credit, continues to create uncertainty for the business.
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The fewer than 40 current employees remaining will be offered severance packages, the company said.
“Folks should know the workforce did everything they could to make plant work, but economic headwinds were too strong,” said Michael Wilhelmi, community relations specialist with Flint Hills Resources.
The plant was originally built in 2008 at a cost of $50 million but wasn't initially finished and never operated.
Flint Hills purchased it for $5 million at auction in 2011 and spent about $100 million retrofitting it.
Duonix Beatrice, a joint venture between Flint Hills Resources, which is a subsidiary of Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries Inc. and Benefuel Inc., started production five years later.