RenewaFuel Future in Doubt

More than two dozen jobs are on the line as the RenewaFuel facility faces closure. Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. says the company’s board of directors has approved a plan to seek a potential sale and to idle the biomass production facility. The company says the financial impact of the decision is estimated to be about $30 million dollars in the third quarter of 2011.

The facility at Sawyer was built to produce high–energy, low–emission biofuel cubes from sustainably collected wood and agricultural feed stocks. Company officials say the plant has not performed to design capacity or to production levels that justify continued operation.

Cliffs officials say they’ll try to reassign the 30 RenewaFuel employees to other positions within the company.

Cliffs acquired RenewaFuel in 2007. The Sawyer facility was completed nearly a year ago…and delivered its first commercial supply of biofuel cubes to the Marquette board of light and power in mid–July.