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UK's largest producer of ethanol halts production

John Wood ·
A Vivergo ethanol tanker

The UK’s largest producer of ethanol has stopped production for the “foreseeable future”, and blamed the government for its inaction over the introduction of E10 fuel.

Vivergo Fuels released a statement saying: “We reluctantly welcomed the Government’s Renewable Transport Fuel obligation proposals in September, but have remained extremely concerned that there is no roll-out framework for E10 in the UK, the absence of which could have serious consequences for the long-term future of the UK bioethanol industry.

“Over the past six weeks we have seen bioethanol prices fall significantly impacting Vivergo profit margins further. While there have been some supply increases this year, the bioethanol market in the UK remains constrained by the Government’s inaction. As a result of these market conditions and legislative uncertainty, we have taken the decision to take our production facility offline for the foreseeable future.

“While the plant is offline, we are taking the opportunity to bring forward and extend our annual plant maintenance work in order to maintain employment levels. We will closely monitor the market ahead of any plant re-starting.

“In the meantime, we will continue to work with all stakeholders and the Government to support the legislative process and the future roll-out of E10; the simplest, most readily available environmentally friendly option for consumers to help reduce the impact of road transport on our environment and providing stability and confidence in the future of the UK bioethanol industry and the jobs it supports.”

Vivergo Fuels says its plant in Hull, East Yorkshire, is the UK’s largest, and Europe’s second largest producer of bioethanol. The £350m plant can produce up to 420 million litres of bioethanol and the bioethanol is made from 1.1 million tonnes of feed wheat, sourced from nearly 900 farms across the East Yorkshire region.

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