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Europe’s largest biorefinery to restart in UK

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Bioethanol producer Ensus has announced the restarting of its £300 million bioethanol plant in Teeside, UK by the end of August after a 15-month enforced shutdown.

The move follows the closure of a loophole in the tariff system by the European Union’s Customs Code Committee which allowed imports of subsidised US product to distort the market. Coupled with the ending of the US taxpayer subsidies for ethanol means Ensus is confident improved market conditions makes the restart a good idea.

Over 100 employees had been kept on full pay throughout the shutdown.

‘Everyone is absolutely delighted that we are in a position to restart. It has been a very difficult time for all connected with the business and I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding, paying particular tribute to our workforce who have shown resilience and a magnificent attitude,’ says Ensus CEO Peter Sopp.

The Teesside bio-refinery is designed to convert more than one million tonnes of animal grade wheat into fuel grade alcohol, high protein animal feed and carbon dioxide using a process of distillation and fermentation.

The ethanol will be blended with petrol to create greener road fuel while UK and European farmers can use the high protein wheat residue from the process as animal feed, preventing the need for imports of high protein feeds from other countries.

The carbon dioxide from the process will used in the UK and European food and drinks industry.

‘We have received considerable support from our local MP and MEP in helping to resolve the political and regulatory issues in the UK and EU,’ Sopp adds. ‘It remains critical that the UK continues to support the use of high quality sustainable biofuels. The country urgently needs greener road fuels as part of its move towards a low carbon economy.’