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Biorefinery company seeks Chapter 11 protection


By MATEUSZ PERKOWSKI

Capital Press

A company that planned to build a biorefinery in eastern Oregon aimed at adding value to grain crops has filed for bankruptcy.

Treasury Valley Renewable Resources, which is based in Idaho but planned to build the facility in Oregon's Malheur County, is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which allows companies to restructure debt.

The planned biorefinery would convert barley, wheat and corn crops into a variety of products, including food ingredients, livestock feed and ethanol.

Dean Obray, who invested money in the project, said he doesn't expect the facility to be built, and the Chapter 11 proceeding is largely meant to clear up the company's debt situation.

Most of the people who invested or lent money to the company were farmers or otherwise involved in agriculture, he said.

The concept for the biorefinery was devised in 1990, and by the mid-1990s the company had bought land for the facility, Obray said.

Treasure Valley Renewable Resource conducted preliminary engineering for the facility but was never able to secure the $130 million in financing needed to build it, he said.

"We just couldn't get it in time to make it work," Obray said.

According to the company's bankruptcy filing, it has about $3 million in assets -- primarily real estate -- and nearly $2 million in debt.

Most of the debt is owed to unsecured creditors, many of whom were investors in the company, but about $300,000 is owed to a company, WHF Inc., that has a secured interest in the Malheur County property, the filing said.

Capital Press was unable to reach Curtis Hickey, the company's general manager, as of press time.



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