Ethanol Glut Prompts Pacific Ethanol to Halt Plant Construction in Calif.
--- Pacific Ethanol Inc., a company whose investors include Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, has opted to halt construction of a distillery in California's Imperial Valley because of a market glut.According to Bloomberg News, the company had planned to build a plant capable of producing 50 million gallons of ethanol a year. But in recent months, ethanol prices have dropped dramatically as supplies have exceeded demand. "We remain committed to completing our ethanol project in Imperial Valley," Pacific Ethanol CEO Neil Koehler said. "However, given the current ethanol market conditions, we feel it is prudent and strategic to suspend construction until the market improves."