Plainview Bioenergy reopens

By Craig Johnson | October 06, 2009
Report posted Oct. 13, 2009, at 12:19 p.m. CST

White Energy Inc.'s 110 MMgy Plainview Bioenergy ethanol production plant, located in Plainview, Texas, began grinding corn on Oct. 12 after several months of not producing.

"We had little to no trouble starting back up," Chuck Fryar, general manager of Plainview Bioenergy, said. "Today's a fine-tuning day."

The plant, built by White Energy of Dallas, began production in April 2008. The plant uses a combination of corn and milo as feedstock for the facility. According to Fryar, the plant typically operates on a 10 percent to 30 percent blend of milo with corn.

According to Fryar, Plainview intended to keep as many of their employees as possible after they resumed production. All employees who were laid off in May were offered their jobs, with more than 30 employees returning to the plant.

Some employees took other jobs rather than wait for the company to emerge from bankruptcy. Training for new employees was conducted in the weeks leading up to the plant's reopening. Plainview currently employs 42 full-time staff.

White Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, along with its subsidiaries in Plainview and Hereford, Texas, and Russell, Kan. "Right now we're expecting to be out of bankruptcy by Jan. 1, 2010," Fryar said.