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Ethanol Producer New Energy to Sell Assets in Bankruptcy

Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) -- New Energy Corp., the operator of an ethanol plant in South Bend, Indiana, filed for bankruptcy protection with plans to sell its assets.

New Energy owes $33 million under a loan from the U.S. Energy Department, which “requested” that the company conduct a sale in bankruptcy, New Energy said in papers filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in South Bend.

New Energy said it was unable to find a buyer for the ethanol plant before the bankruptcy. The plant can produce annually 100 million gallons of ethanol, which is sold to oil refiners that blend it with gasoline, according to court papers.

President Russell Abarr said in an interview on Nov. 6 that the company was idling the facility as a supply glut, tepid demand and high corn prices in the aftermath of the worst U.S. drought since the 1950s cut profit.

New Energy listed assets of as much as $50 million and debts as high as $100 million.

The case is New Energy Corp., 12-33866, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Indiana (South Bend).

To contact the reporter on this story: David McLaughlin in New York at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at jpickering@bloomberg.net

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