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FUEL makes $4.9 million payments

According to a statement contained in a release from Southwest Georgia Ethanol LLC, a FUEL company, made on Tuesday, July 5, the company has made its final 503B9 and critical vendor payments to its vendors and local corn farmers.

Since receiving permission from Judge James D. Walker of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Albany Division, to pay these unsecured claims, SWGE has made more than $4.9 million in 503B9 and critical vendor payments, including $3.9 million to local corn farmers for corn delivered to the facility in months preceding its Chapter 11 filing on Feb. 1, 2011.

503B9 payments are made to vendors who deliver goods to a company within 20 days before it files for Chapter 11 relief. Critical vendors in SWGE’s case included SWGE’s corn farmers who delivered corn to SWGE more than 20 days before it filed a petition for Chapter 11 relief, but who chose to not price that corn immediately, thereby delaying payment.

On Feb. 1, SWGE sought permission from the Bankruptcy Court to pay all of its local corn farmers who had delivered corn to it more than 20 days before the commencement of its bankruptcy case as critical vendors, meaning that those farmers would receive payment for their corn prior to SWGE’s exit from Chapter 11. While it is often difficult to obtain permission to pay prepetition unsecured claims before confirmation of a plan of reorganization in a Chapter 11 case, Judge Walker granted SWGE’s request and authorized SWGE to pay the prepetition claims of its local corn farmers beginning in early April 2011.

Tommy Dollar, chairman of First United Ethanol LLC, commented, “While we are faced with many challenges within the Chapter 11 process, we are proud to have paid all of our 503B9 and critical vendors and farmers for their products received prior to our filing in February. We thank them for working with us and continuing to supply our inputs in order for us to maintain production.”