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Thursday, January 5, 2012 - 6:50am

Ethanol Plant Sold At Foreclosure

A southeast Georgia ethanol factory that cost taxpayers $70 million has been sold at a fraction of the cost in a foreclosure sale, leaving millions of dollars in government loans unpaid.

The Courier Herald of Dublin reports the Range Fuels facility in Soperton was sold for $5.1 million. The plant was sold to biofuels firm LanzaTech.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Range cost U.S. taxpayers $64 million and Georgia taxpayers another $6.2 million. Authorities say the $5.1 million from this weeks' sale will help offset losses suffered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USDA spokesman Justin DeJong said officials are disappointed that Range Fuels did not succeed. Despite the plant's failure, he said more than 90% of USDA's loans are successfully repaid.

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