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New Energy Ethanol Plant May Reopen

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Indiana’s first and oldest ethanol plant may return to life later this year. The New Energy plant in South Bend closed and filed bankruptcy in November and has been sitting idle ever since.   South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s office issued a statement that a company called Noble Americas South Bend Ethanol has purchased the former New Energy plant and plans to restart it later this year or early next year.

Maynards Industries, based in the Detroit area, and Biditup Auctions Worldwide, which is in Los Angeles — the two companies that bought the plant at the auction in January — didn’t offer any information Thursday about how much NASBE paid for the plant or how many potential buyers showed interest in it. The new operation is expected to employ 50 people, the mayor’s office reported. New Energy employed 126 people before cutting its staff to 90 workers in June 2011, according to bankruptcy documents.

NASBE is a subsidiary of Noble Americas Corp., an energy marketing and trading company based in Stamford, Conn. Noble Americas is a subsidiary of Noble Group Ltd., which specializes in supply-chain management for commodities in the agriculture, energy, metals and logistics sectors. “This acquisition will help complement Noble’s existing ethanol business in the United States,” NASBE President William Cronin said in a statement. “The idea is to organically grow this into a major physical ethanol business.”