The Andersons Inc. recently announced that it is idling its ELEMENT ethanol facility in Colwich, Kan., in the coming days for an extended maintenance and repair period and will take spring maintenance shutdowns at the four facilities owned by The Andersons Marathon Holdings LLC (TAMH), a joint venture between The Andersons and Marathon Petroleum Corp.
"Our primary reason for taking these actions now is the accelerating decline in demand resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In the case of the ELEMENT plant, The Andersons and ICM will use the time to focus on the remaining steps needed to gain what we anticipate will be an industry-low carbon score," Jim Pirolli, president of The Andersons Ethanol Group, said.
The company said it is extending the spring maintenance shutdowns at the TAMH plants to practice social distancing and good hygiene to protect employees and the essential contractors who are required for the shutdown.
“We continue to communicate regularly with all our employees about staying healthy and modifying work practices to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus," Pirolli added.
The company said it expects to produce ethanol and its co-products at approximately 50% of capacity in April, with a return to more normal production when demand improves. It also anticipates bringing the ELEMENT plant back into production in the latter part of the second quarter. These expectations are subject to the lessening of the economic restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Andersons said.