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Vivergo Fuels confirms reopening of Hull biorefinery following UK's E10 mandate

In the UK, ethanol producer Vivergo Fuels Ltd, an AB Sugar company, has confirmed that its ethanol biorefinery in Hull will be re-opening following the announcement on February 25, 2021, by the Department for Transport that E10 petrol will be introduced at pumps up and down the country from September 2021.

The largest ethanol plant of its kind in the UK, Vivergo Fuels in Saltend, Hull has an annual capacity to process 1.1 million tonnes of feed wheat to produce 420 million litres of ethanol, and 500 000 tonnes of animal feed (photo courtesy Vivergo Fuels).

Established in 2012, the site was, at the time, the only dedicated bioethanol plant in the UK and represented the second-largest infrastructure project after the Olympics. However, in September 2018 the decision was taken to close the plant on account of the ethanol price, the wheat price, and uncertainty surrounding future demand.

Now that E10 has been mandated and the business environment is more favourable, the grain ethanol plant will be re-opened to help cut transport carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 750 000 tonnes per year.

It was an extremely difficult decision we had to take to close in September 2018, but we have continued to maintain this world-class plant in the anticipation that it could re-start if the conditions were right to do so. With the Government’s announcement to introduce E10 to UK vehicles and improved market conditions, we are re-opening the plant and will start manufacturing bioethanol in early 2022, said Dr Mark Carr, Group Chief Executive of AB Sugar.

It will also unleash the potential of the GBP1 billion (≈ EUR 1.15 billion) British bioethanol industry, with the plant itself recruiting around 85 highly skilled green jobs in addition to the core team that remained in place during its closure.

We will once again be investing in creating a highly skilled workforce and will be looking to recruit around 85 people for specialist roles over the coming weeks, as well as seeking opportunities with past partners, growers and customers whose support since 2007 has been invaluable. This is good news for a sustainable British biofuels industry, the economy within the Humber region, and the environment and consumers. I look forward to our continued investment and ambition for the UK bioethanol industry, ended Dr Mark Carr.

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