Ind. ethanol plant reduces workforce, puts facility up for sale

By Holly Jessen | June 23, 2011

New Energy Corp., a South Bend, Ind., ethanol plant that started operating in 1984 and now has a capacity of 102 MMgy, is up for sale and 25 percent of its workforce will be laid off. Russ Abarr, president, told employees that the company would undergo a reorganization effective in July. “Reorganizing the company’s structure and streamlining its workforce was a very difficult decision, but essential for New Energy in the long run,” the company said in a press release announcing the decision.

About 30 people will be laid off in all. They will receive severance pay, ongoing health benefits and outplacement services, the company said. “To maximize our strengths, we need to increase our operational efficiencies,” Abarr said.

Putting the ethanol plant up for sale shouldn’t signal that the company is in trouble, he clarified. The owner and his family have simply decided that New Energy no longer fits in their business plans.