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Vivergo Fuels' bioethanol plant to shut down again

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September 10 (Renewables Now) - Vivergo Fuels of the UK last week said it is stopping production at its bioethanol plant near Hull due to "continued difficult trading environment and delays in the implementation of E10 in the UK over time."

The plant, the UK's largest and Europe's second largest bioethanol producer with a capacity of 420 million litres (111 million gallons), will cease operations on September 30.

The facility was reopened in April this year after a four-month shutdown that was in response to weak ethanol prices and a lack of policy clarity. The company hoped that conditions would improve after the passing through parliament of a target to boost the use of renewable fuels in transport from 4.75% to 9.75% by 2020. Vivergo Fuels, however, warned then that the government should act fast on the introduction of E10 to secure its future.

Managing director Mark Chesworth said in a statement last week that the government's lack of pace over the past decade to roll out E10 has undermined its ability to operate.

Commenting on the government's Call for Evidence on E10 in July, the company expressed frustration with the ongoing delays caused by the consultation process. Richard Royal, head of government affairs and communications at Vivergo, said then that the Department for Transport (DfT) had investigated the issue multiple times and that "another call for evidence, followed by another consultation, only adds to the industry’s precarious position and calls into question whether the Government is taking the advice and the ultimate aim of cleaning up transport seriously."

Set up in 2007, Vivergo Fuels' plant produces bioethanol from feed wheat, mainly from farms in the East and North Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire regions. 

The company has more than 130 employees at the plant in Hull and its head office in Hessle.  

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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