Regional

By Louise Drewery on 10 November 2016

Vivergo Fuels, the UK’s biggest producer of bioethanol, is calling on the Government to provide greater certainty to UK farmers by pushing forward with the introduction of E10 fuel, which will cultivate an alternative domestic market for their produce.

On the back of the harvest, the UK’s major wheat buyer, Vivergo Fuels, is boosting the fortunes of farmers to the value of £1m per month, compared to the smaller export value they would receive. The company takes up to 100,000 tonnes of animal feed grade wheat each month to create its ethanol, which is then blended into petrol.

However, Vivergo Fuels, which operates a £350m plant at Salt End near Hull, says it can play an even bigger role and is asking the Government to increase the ethanol blending ratio in petrol from current levels (5%) to 10%, through the introduction of a greener fuel, E10.  This will boost the UK economy by supporting UK farmers and UK jobs, as well as helping to meet strict and legally-binding environmental targets.

Mark Chesworth, Managing Director of Vivergo Fuels, said: “It is essential that the UK Government is supportive in terms of increasing the current bioethanol blending ratio in UK petrol, so that Vivergo Fuels and the wider industry can provide a long term, sustainable and secure domestic market for UK farmers. Increased demand for bioethanol will allow farmers to sell their wheat in the UK instead of exporting, increasing their earnings. This in turn will benefit the wider UK economy and support jobs throughout the supply chain, further boosting UK industry.”

Vivergo Fuels, which opened in 2012, is one of the biggest investors in the Humber region and has supported thousands of jobs so far, directly and indirectly, with scope to support many more in the future, particularly in the agricultural sector.

NFU President, Meurig Raymond, said: “The UK biofuels industry is incredibly beneficial to farmers across the country, as it adds value to grain and oilseeds for feed and fuel markets. The process ensures that animal-grade wheat is bought at a fair price, and the bi-product of animal feed creates a collaborative process that benefits both the farmers and the biofuels industry.”

Vivergo Fuels also believes that E10 represents the most cost-effective and straightforward channel for the UK to meet its legally binding, transport-specific targets and air quality challenges. This has been echoed by the relevant government Select Committee. By 2020, all European countries, including the UK, must ensure that 10% of transport fuel is sourced from renewable sources to reduce transport’s environmental impact, which is increasing year-on-year. This mandate is parallel to the UK’s own strict carbon reduction goals. E10 will help to reduce global emission levels, mitigate the rapid rate of climate change, and improve air quality.

For more information on how Vivergo Fuels produces home grown, sustainable feed and fuel, visit www.vivergofuels.com.

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