Vivergo boss says time running out for bioethanol E10 fuel decision

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 24 May 2017

FRUSTRATION is mounting inside the UK's leading bioethanol plant as government delays continue to cast doubt on the operation's future.

Vivergo Fuels at Saltend is the UK's largest producer of bioethanol, which is blended with conventional petrol to make a greener, more sustainable transport fuel.

All petrol currently sold in the UK is a blend of 95 per cent unleaded and 5 per cent bioethanol (E5).

The Renewable Energy Directive (Red) lays out a legal requirement for EU countries to ensure at least 10 per cent of their transport fuels come from renewable sources by 2020.

E10 – a blend of petrol containing 10 per cent bioethanol – is already available throughout Europe, and is now the biggest-selling fuel in France. However, the UK continues to lag behind.

Numerous industry reports – including a task force published in 2015 by the Department for Transport itself – concluded E10 would be the most efficient and cost effective way to meet its 2020 targets.

However a change of Government, Brexit uncertainty and the upcoming general election are among events that have thus far stalled any announcements from the corridors of power.

Now, after yet more delays, managing director Mark Chesworth says time is running out for the industry as a whole.

He said: "We continue to invest in the business – there has to date been well over £400m of capital expenditure, and we are looking at what we can do for the future in terms of more investment, which will ultimately lead to more jobs.

"But we are now at a critical stage.

"By their very nature, investors take risks. If we thought we had picked the wrong technology or were doing it wrong then fine, that would be a risk.

"But all evidence, including that coming from the Government, points to E10 as being the best solution for meeting its targets, and yet we are still waiting the Government to make a decision."

The UK also has a target to reduce its domestic transport emissions by 43 per cent by 2032.

Despite this, transport carbon emissions actually rose in 2015.

All new car models manufactured are now optimised to run on E10, with a full UK roll-out of E10

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