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Low Demand Leads The Andersons to Idle Ethanol Plants

March 26, 2020

As the novel coronavirus outbreak causes demand for ethanol to decline, American agribusiness The Andersons said Tuesday that it plans to idle its ELEMENT ethanol plant in Colwich, KS for maintenance and repairs, and extend the length of spring maintenance shutdowns at four ethanol facilities owned by the joint venture The Andersons Marathon Holdings LLC (TAMH). 

“Our primary reason for taking these actions now is the accelerating decline in demand resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” The Andersons Ethanol Group President Jim Pirolli said in a company release. “In the case of the ELEMENT plant, The Andersons and ICM will use the time to focus on the remaining steps needed to gain what we anticipate will be an industry-low carbon score.”

The extended spring maintenance shutdowns at the TAMH sites will enable the firm to use social distancing and practice good hygiene to safeguard employees and contractors who are working at the facilities during the shutdown.

“We continue to communicate regularly with all of our employees about staying healthy and modifying work practices to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” said Pirolli. 

Production of ethanol and coproducts will be down by about 50% during April. The Andersons said it will “return to more normal production when demand improves.” The ELEMENT plant in Colwich is expected to return to full operational status toward the end of the second quarter. 

TAMH is a joint venture between The Andersons and Marathon Petroleum Corporation formed in October 2019

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