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CropEnergies restart UK plant to meet local demand

Germany-headed ethanol producer CropEnergies AG, a member of the Südzucker Group has announced that it will resume ethanol production at its idled UK plant in Wilton at the beginning of March 2019. It is planned to initially run the factory at reduced capacity to supply orders from British customers.

CropEnergies' 360 000 m3 per annum ethanol plant in Zeitz, Germany (photo Martin Jehnichen).

CropEnergies’ 360 000 m3 per annum ethanol plant in Zeitz, Germany (photo Martin Jehnichen).

According to a statement February 27, 2019, the development of the local British market for alternative fuels is imperative for continuous operation of the plant in Wilton, This includes above all the speedy introduction of Premium E10 with ten volume percent of ethanol which has been overdue for years and is already the standard fuel for the certification of new petrol engines in the EU.

Currently, the British decarbonisation of transport is mainly based on biodiesel which, to a considerable degree, is produced from used cooking oil (UCO). A large part is imported from third countries, such as China where the guiding principle of waste reduction is not legally specified.

Furthermore, the questions related to Brexit regarding customs for imports and exports to and from the United Kingdom need to be clarified immediately. The future customs regulations are of existential importance for the production site Wilton.

Operating production facilities in Belgium, France, Germany, and the UK with a combined annual production capacity of 1.3 million m3, CropEnergies is one of the largest ethanol producers in Europe.

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