Mitchell County ethanol plant secures new financing

From a press release issued by Southwest Georgia Ethanol:

AloStar Bank of Commerce has provided a $20 million secured revolving credit facility for Southwest Georgia Ethanol. Georgia's largest corn ethanol producer.

Located in Mitchell County, Southwest Georgia Ethanol is. Georgia's largest corn ethanol producer. Southwest Georgia Ethanol, located in Mitchell County, is a 100 million gallon per year plant that began production in 2008. SWGE emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year, and has operated at full capacity for the past 12 months. AloStar's secured credit facility will help the plant respond to variable pricing in the corn futures market, with the bank also implementing a hedge reserve to minimize risk to the company from changing corn prices.

Corn is the key raw material for the plant, which annually grinds more than 36 million bushels of corn. The facility purchases approximately 20 percent of its corn from local farmers. "We are very pleased to close this line of credit as local harvest approaches because it will allow SWGE to purchase as much local corn as is available," said Murray Campbell, President of SWGE.

"Like many of our customers, Southwest Georgia Ethanol has a unique need for capital driven by its business model," said Andy McGhee, president of AloStar Business Credit, the bank's lending arm. "The AloStar team understands the industry and the model and has implemented a creative strategy that will help Southwest Georgia Ethanol operate at capacity while managing the price swings in corn supplies."

"A financial partner who understands our business is critical for the success of Southwest Georgia Ethanol," said Campbell. "As we operate at capacity in a post-restructuring environment, it is crucial to have bankers who can help us meet our current cash needs and are ready to help us grow our business. We appreciate AloStar's willingness to work with us."