THE Vivergo bioethanol plant in Hull re-opened this week after a four-month shutdown and immediately called on the Government to secure its future by introducing E10 fuel by the end of the year.

The £350 million plant can produce up to 420m litres of bioethanol a year from 1.1m tonnes of feed wheat sourced from nearly 900 farms across East Yorkshire.

It is the UK’s largest – and Europe’s second largest – producer of bioethanol and is also the country’s largest single production site for animal feed, delivering 500,000 tonnes of high protein feed to over 800 farms across the UK.

More than 150 people work at its production site in Hull and head office in Hessle and it supports more than 3,000 other jobs directly and indirectly

The plant closed in November due to unfavourable trading conditions, partly caused by Government inaction on the future of renewable fuels.

Over the coming months, it is hoped conditions will improve as a result of the RTFO being passed through Parliament in March.

This takes effect later this month, increasing the use of renewable fuels in transport from 4.75 per cent to a target of 9.75 per cent by 2020.

But Vivergo and the bioethanol industry as a whole is now calling on the Government to introduce E10 fuel by the end of the year.

A blend of ten per cent renewable bioethanol with petrol, it is commonly used across North America, Europe and Australasia. Its introduction in the UK would result in carbon emission savings equivalent to taking 700,000 cars off the road.

Mark Chesworth, managing director of Vivergo Fuels, said: “We are pleased to see the RTFO pass through Parliament. This step, combined with the completion of maintenance work, has prompted us to recommence production after being offline over the winter period. However, there is much still to do if we are to sustain production and maintain this significant industry in the UK.”

He said there were three key reasons for the rapid introduction of E10: its immediate impact on transport emissions to the benefit of the environment and public health; it would end Government inertia which has further undermined confidence in renewables investment; and Vivergo Fuels is one of the most significant investments in the north of England – E10 would provide greater stability for the jobs, skills and agriculture which benefit from it.