UK’s first ethanol plant opens

The UK’s first bioethanol plant was officially opened on 22 November 2007. It is located alongside the world’s largest beet sugar factory at Wissington, Norfolk and will produce 70 million litres of bioethanol annually from locally grown sugar beet. The sugar factory’s efficient combined heat and power plant also provides energy for the bioethanol plant ensuring that bioethanol produced here delivers a carbon emissions saving of at least 60% compared to fossil-derived petrol.

Speaking at the opening, British Sugar Group chief executive, Mark Carr, said:

We are delighted to take the UK lead in this exciting new industry. Against a background of unprecedented change in the European sugar industry we are transforming our business. In addition to our expansion in sugar in Southern Africa and China, the Wissington bioethanol project clearly demonstrates our ability to identify and develop opportunities in markets where we can add value.

The plant began production trials in September 2007, reached design throughput within the first two weeks of operation and produced fuel grade bioethanol within three days of start up. The first batch of UK-produced bioethanol was delivered to the UK market during the week commencing 24 September.

Source: British Sugar via SMH

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