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Published October 01, 2009, 07:33 AM

Idled ND ethanol plant sold for $92 million

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Gov. John Hoeven says an idled Hankinson ethanol plant that is under bankruptcy protection has been sold to an Arkansas company.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Gov. John Hoeven says an idled Hankinson ethanol plant that is under bankruptcy protection has been sold to an Arkansas company.

Hoeven says Murphy Oil Corp., based in El Dorado, Ark., bought the facility from VeraSun Energy for $92 million. He says Murphy Oil plans to invest an additional $15 million into the facility in southeastern North Dakota.

VeraSun, an ethanol manufacturer based in Sioux Falls, S.D., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2008. At the time of the filing, it owned 16 ethanol factories in eight states. The company has since sold seven of the factories to a subsidiary of Valero Energy Corp., of San Antonio.

Plant manager Wes Plummer says the company will retain the 49 employees at the Hankinson plant. He says the factory will resume ethanol production Saturday.

The plant, built in 2006, can produce 110 million gallons of ethanol a year. It began operating in July 2008 but was idled three months later.

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