World Bulletin / News Desk
One of Europe's largest biorefineries, capable of meeting up to a third of Britain's bioethanol demand, opened officially near Hull in eastern England on Monday.
The 350 million pound ($520.9 million) biorefinery has been developed by Vivergo Fuels, part-owned byBP which has a 45 percent stake. Associated British Foods also owns 45 percent of the venture and DuPont 10 percent.
The plant is designed to turn 1.1 million tonnes of animal feed wheat each year into 420 million litres of bioethanol and 500,000 tonnes of protein-rich animal feed for the UK market, BP said in a statement.
The facility was opened by Vince Cable, secretary of state for business, innovation and skills.
Biorefining breaks down the starch in wheat to sugars, which are then fermented into alcohol through a process similar to that used in a whisky distillery.
The bioethanol produced can be blended with petrol for use as a lower-carbon transport fuel.
Vivergo hopes to source its feed wheat primarily from farms in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
The bioethanol produced at the Vivergo plant will save over 50 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that come from standard petrol, BP said, equivalent to the emissions of more than 180,000 British cars a year.
The European Union has set a target that 10 percent of all fuels used in transportation should come from renewable sources by 2020.
The use of biofuels is under scrutiny, however, because some are thought to displace food production into new areas, forcing forest clearance, releasing large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and worsening climate change.
Another big biorefinery in Britain is operated by Ensus, which is owned by U.S. private equity funds the Carlyle Group and Riverstone. It is located in northeast England and has a similar capacity to the Vivergo facility.Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Temmuz 2013, 15:04