Ethanol Deathwatch: Another One Bites the Dust

Plans for ethanol plants are dropping faster than the price of Christmas cards in January. Earlier this week, construction of the third plant in as many months was put on hold, with Pacific Ethanol (PEIX) (which was recently ditched by Bill Gates) suspending the building of its Imperial Valley plant near Calipatria, Calif., “until market conditions improve.” In October, BioFuel Energy Corp. (BIOF) and VeraSun (VSE) both said they would suspend construction of ethanol facilities as well.

This week the North Platte Bulletin reports (and GreentechMedia confirms) that plants for Panda Ethanol and Renewable Agricultural Energy won’t see the light of day, either. Panda Ethanol is reportedly canceling a 100-million-gallon ethanol plant it had in the works in Wallace, Neb., while RAE is said to have shuttered plans for a plant near Gothenburg, Neb., earlier this month.

Total tally: at least five, though we suspect there are significantly more. We’re starting an ethanol plant deathwatch, so please send us any others that you’ve heard about.