Greeley, CO, Factory May Be Closed

Published online: Feb 16, 2004
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Western Sugar Cooperative's Greeley, CO, sugar factory may be on the chopping block this year. Officials told the Associated Press last week that because the plant did not operate last year--for only the second time in its 102-year history--that it may never open again. Jim Dudley, Western Sugar's vice presdient, said plants in Billings, MT, and Lovell, WY, have sufficient beets to operate this year. He also said plants in Scottsbluff, NE, and Fort Morgan, CO, will also remain running. However, the plants in Torrington, WY, and Greeley are under scrutiny, Joe Amen, a member of Western's board, stated. The Torrington plant is coal-fired and can be operated for about $1 million less per year than the natural-gas-fired Greeley factory. Last growing season, beets were grown in the Greeley factory district, but acres were cut because of the lingering drought. Those grown in the Greeley area were processed at the Fort Morgan, CO, factory. Should the closing come, it will end the 102-year run of the factory in Greeley. The plant will join others that have been closed in the state, which at one time was one of the most productive sugarbeet growing states. Other plant closures have been at Brighton, Fort Lupton, Loveland, Rocky Ford, Monte Vista, Las Animas, Grand Junction, Ovid, Sterling, Longmont, Delta, Eaton, Sugar City, Holly, Lamar, Brush, Johnstown, Swink, and Windsor.