£1.7m funding for development of biofuels industry
John Brady, Senior Project Manager, Biofuels & Biorefining, now based at the Wilton Centre
A powerful coalition of business interests has put its weight behind the North East Biofuels Industry.
As a result the Regional Development Agency, One NorthEast, has pledged £1.7million over three years to attract global producers to invest in sustainable biofuels production in North East England.
Interest in biofuel production from UK crops is growing and is urged on by the government’s commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
From April, the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) required the renewable content of transport fuels to be 2.5 per cent rising to 5 per cent by 2010.
Key project partners in the development of the region’s biofuels industry include North East Biofuels and the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC).
The two main forms of biofuels are biodiesel and bioethanol made from oilseed rape and wheat respectively, making them a sustainable product.
Recent research undertaken by North East Biofuels has also shown that biodiesel produced in the North East region gives 94 per cent net savings of carbon dioxide emissions compared to conventional ultra low sulphur diesel product.
The North East is rapidly emerging as a major biofuels hub. The Biofuels Corporation at Seal Sands has an annual capacity of 250 million litres of biodiesel, whilst Ensus Group at Wilton is constructing a 400 million litre per annum Bioethanol plant, which will be operational early in 2009.
Stan Higgins, NEPIC CEO, said: “The North East is recognised across the world as a leading location for the Process Industry and has first class infrastructure to support large scale chemical and biotechnology processing.
“Biofuels, biorefining and other activities requiring the handling of large amounts of material will always need these types of facilities. We have these in abundance on Teesside. This collaboration will ensure we have the capability of supporting and developing these new process industries going forward, as well as creating the supply chains that these new industries need.”
Professor Dermot Roddy, North East Biofuels Chairman, said: “The biofuels industry can make a significant contribution to making our transport more sustainable. The member companies of North East Biofuels look forward to supporting the strategy to help meet its targets of economic growth and environmental protection.”
For further information please contact John Brady at firstname.lastname@example.org