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      Cliffs Natural Resources receive bids for renewaFuel plant

      The first round in selling the renewaFuel plant in K.I. Sawyer is coming to a close, and the employees are gone.

      Cliffs Natural Resources says they've received significant buyer interest in the facility. They've received several non-binding bids and will begin narrowing down those bids next week.

      Operations have been suspended at the biofuel plant since September. Friday was the final day of work for 25 of the plant's employees. They've been given severance packages, but at this point, none have been relocated to employment at Cliffs' other Michigan operations.

      Cliffs was unable to disclose the number or nature of the bids and are unable to say if the facility may continue to produce biofuel.

      "The process is viable, but it's just not something that we're comfortable doing right now," said Dale Hemmila of Cliffs Natural Resources. "Hopefully, maybe a successful bidder will be someone who has some experience in the biofuel areas."

      Cliffs Natural Resources hopes to complete the sale late this year or in early 2012.