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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Altra Biofuels shuts down plant

Thursday, December 4, 2008

CLOVERDALE -- The Banner Graphic received a report Thursday that Altra Biofuels in Cloverdale has laid off the majority of its workforce and is now closed.

According to Shay Keener, an Altra employee who was laid off, employees were informed Thursday morning that they were laid off indefinitely and the plant was closing its doors. Altra's Senior Vice President of Operations Tony Wells delivered the news to the employees.

Keener also said they were told Clovedale's sister plant in Coshocton, Ohio will be shutting down.

When contacted by the Banner Graphic about the report, Altra's Jeff Gilbert said, "There is no public comment at this time."

The Banner Graphic will update this story as information becomes available.


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Well,at least everything corn related is higher then heck now..At leqast SOMETHING came out of this rediculous idea of corn saving the day. I said at the begining that greed will just make the price of the new fuel catch up w/other fuel prices quickly. Sure,theres more corn than oil.Big deal. EVERYTHING that greedy companies could associate w/corn has went sky high! Bad plan from virtually evry angle....Its very unfortunate that people are thrown out at the curb at work and at this time of year to boot.Please,someone give us some GOOD news!

-- Posted by honestyisbestpolicy on Thu, Dec 4, 2008, at 3:58 PM

The Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer discussed a bailout of the ethanol industry in early Novemeber. Why? Taxpayers are already paying for bad mortgage loans, soon to be paying for outdated automobile manufacturing management and most likely "free" healthcare. The market should determine which businesses are successful, not a room of career politicians who got the cart before the horse. Ethanol is a great idea as long as gas is $4 a gallon. When it's $1.75 the margins are just not profitable and producers rely on government monies instead. Ask yourself: If ethanol from corn is so cost effective, why does its production need federal subsidies? Congress got drunk on ethanol and the politics of public opinion. Ethanol producers don't need more money, they need to simply shut down until the market is profitable again. I do feel for those who have lost their jobs - I used to work for an ethanol producer and was laid off myself when these same issues were in effect 15-20 years ago. It's a bitter pill to swallow now but necessary to gain a foothold in the future.

-- Posted by rdw5466 on Thu, Dec 4, 2008, at 6:49 PM

I can tell you 3 know about as much about ethanol production as you do about the moon.

-- Posted by can't_understand on Thu, Dec 4, 2008, at 7:53 PM

It went out the door with the Republicans. It was a scam to cause scarcity of domestic product. They tell us we must not rely on foreign oil but force us to eat food grown out of the country. Altra's startup was probably financed by the feds as well.

What did we get out of it? Several seasons of crops were burned up, some junk science vehicles were sold by manufacturers that aren't going to be around next year to back the warranties and as it turns out, there is no shortage of oil but again, only a political/corporate caused scarcity of product.

-- Posted by westforty on Thu, Dec 4, 2008, at 7:57 PM

The moon is round, white, predictable and unless the Rapture occurs, will be there tomorrow. Ethanol on the other hand......

-- Posted by rdw5466 on Thu, Dec 4, 2008, at 10:14 PM

Where was CACFID (Citizens Advisory Committee For Industrial Developement) when Altra Biofuels first proposed its business plan? A business either has a sound operating plan, or it does not. Apparently, Altra Biofuels did not. How many millions of dollars have been wasted in construction of plant and equipment that will not be used for anything else, but will rest upon the rural landsacape as an eyesore for decades? Why is it that the Putnam County Planning Commission, there to protect 'the public' from the poor plans of small farmers, cannot distinguish a sound business plan involving millions of dollars and hundreds of acres from one doomed to failure from the outset?

Follow the money, they say.

-- Posted by chazm_vet on Thu, Dec 4, 2008, at 11:51 PM

honestyisbestpolicy, you should do a little research before you voice your opinion. There isn't more corn than oil. Uneducated Midwesterners look around them and see a lot of corn. What they don't realize is that we go through an incomprehensible amount of oil in this country. We can't grow enough corn to come close to producing enough ethanol to replace oil.

If you really want to know something about the relationship between corn, oil, and your wallet, I suggest you check the data available from the National Corn Growers Association's and from the Department of Energy's websites.......Wait, that wouldn't be as easy as blindly blaming someone else, would it?

-- Posted by tackleberry65 on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 8:17 AM

A South American Ethanol company is sponsoring the IRL next year. Their crop for the fuel is sugar cane. Last years' ethanol sponsor was an American company, but can't afford it for next year. Obvioulsy this is a sign of the expense for corn fuel.

I strongly agree with westforty's comment. There was a lot of money spent on the construction to just close up without much of an attempt at production.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 2:00 PM

Corn is exploited in the food industry as much as oil is in the textile industry.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 2:02 PM

I think our concern should be for the families laid off right before Christmas instead of bickering over corn versus gas. I feel bad for them and hope they find jobs and this doesn't hinder their childrens' holiday this year. :(

-- Posted by roselynn97 on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 2:39 PM

Of course we are concerned for the families who lost their jobs. People were debating the whole idea from the begining. This project carried a lot of hype with it. Some employees gave up other jobs to work there. They too, were led to believe that there was a future in Altra.

As for the children, well, the announcement was made after black friday, so toy shopping was probably completed by now.

So anyway cheaper gas will definetly hold down biofuel demand.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 8:28 PM

I do feel for the families and their children. There will be even more jobless very soon considering the condition of the auto industry and the local facilities that produce for them.

Altra promised hundreds of production jobs back when they charmed their way into the community. Once they were up and running, they explained in a Banner Graphic interview that local production experience was not needed in a computerized facility that basically runs itself.

Their promises of work and prosperity in an economy that was then already faltering were the only reasons we wanted them here, we were all scammed along with the people who just lost their jobs.

-- Posted by westforty on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 11:34 AM

I also fell victim to unemployment at the altra sister plant in Ohio. We as in your community, are upset with what has happened. As upset as I am, I understand why they did it. Shay, you hang in there bro. I was going to email you and ask you if you guys got hit also. Then I thought to myself, he won't be there to get it.

-- Posted by joblessnoiho on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 5:23 PM

Apologies to those enduring this unfortunate circumstance if my comments sounded offensive but you are merely joining a rapidly growing club that I have been a member of for quite some time. The regulars here are familiar with my rants, sometimes under other usernames, about bonehead governmental and corporate decisions that have led to the current crisis, everything from illegal labor and job exportation to the LLC form of enterprise that allows the profit of running a business into the ground. I was lucky enough to see these times coming and had the wherewithal to prepare for them. At this point, I just consider it an early retirement.

Good luck on your future endeavors.

-- Posted by westforty on Sun, Dec 7, 2008, at 3:03 PM


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