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Judge OKs sale of Indiana's oldest ethanol plant

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A federal bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of Indiana's oldest ethanol plant three months after its owner filed for bankruptcy protection.

A joint venture bought the New Energy Corp. plant at auction last week for $2.5 million and a bankruptcy judge in South Bend approved the sale Tuesday.

New Energy President Russ Abarr tells the South Bend Tribune he'd hoped the auction price would cover the company's $54 million in debt.

The sale to Detroit-area Maynards Industries and Los Angeles-based Biditup Auctions Worldwide could spell the end of the plant's nearly 30-year run on South Bend's southwest side.

The plant cost more than $180 million to build. It opened in 1984 and could produce 100 million gallons of ethanol a year, but was closed in November.

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