The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded GBP 25 million (USD 38.4m/EUR 34.3m) in funding to three companies that seek to produce advanced biofuel from waste products such as whisky, forestry and household by-products.
The funding will enable the winning developers to invest in new premises and technology, which in turn will help create more than 5,000 jobs by 2030 and open up international markets, according to a DfT statement on Monday.
Edinburgh-based Celtic Renewables Ltd has earned a GBP-11-million grant for the construction of the world’s first facility to produce biofuel using Scotch whisky residues. The company said in a press release it expects to build the plant, with a production capacity of at least 1 million litres, by December 2018.
Celtic Renewables’ founder and president, Martin Tangney, commented that the firm is committed to developing a new industry in the UK worth over GBP 100 million a year. “We have already attracted investment and partners in the private sector and this funding announced today will allow us to scale-up to industrial production,” he added.
The Scottish company will now focus on establishing a demonstration facility in or near Grangemouth.
Meanwhile, Swindon-headquartered Advanced Plasma Power (APP) won a GBP-11-million DfT grant in a UK consortium to develop biofuels from ordinary household waste to power heavy goods vehicles. The firm’s partners in the project are National Grid, Progressive Energy and CNG Services. APP’s planned facility in Swindon will be the world’s first to convert residual waste into compressed biomethane, it says. Construction work on the plant is scheduled to start next year.
Tees Valley-based Nova Pangaea Technologies Ltd, in turn, was awarded the remaining GBP 3 million to produce greener fuel from forestry waste. The firm’s technology converts waste wood and forestry surplus into sugars which are turned into ethanol and then blended with petrol.
(GBP 1.0 = USD 1.534/EUR 1.373)
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