UK ethanol plant to shut down Sept. 30 due to E10 delay

By Erin Voegele | September 06, 2018

U.K.-based Vivergo Fuels Ltd. has announced plans to idle its 420 MMly (110 MMgy) ethanol plant, citing a difficult trading environment and delays in the introduction of E10 into the U.K. marketplace.

“I am extremely disappointed at having to announce the proposed cessation of production as of [Sept. 30, 2018] at the Vivergo Fuels plant,” said Mark Chesworth, managing director at Vivergo Fuels.  We have created a highly skilled and world-class business that had the opportunity to be part of a British sustainable biofuels industry. But sadly, the government’s lack of pace over the past decade to introduce E10 has further undermined our ability to operate. My employees are my number one concern at this time and we have entered into consultation with them.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our workforce, past and present partners, growers and customers for their support since the creation of our plant in 2007,” Chesworth continued.

Vivergo Fuels was formed in 2007 as a joint venture between AB Sugar, BP and DuPont and began operations in mid-2013. The facility takes in wheat as feedstock and is the U.K.’s largest ethanol plant, and the second largest ethanol plant in Europe. The company employs more than 130 workers and directly and indirectly supports more than 3,000 jobs, contributing an estimated £600 million ($775.72 million) to the U.K. economy.

Vivergo Fuels previously shut down its plant in December 2017 due to falling ethanol prices and a constrained ethanol market that resulted from government delays with regard to the introduction of E10. The plant resumed operations in April.

The U.K. government opened a public consultation on the possible introduction of E10 in July. The consultation closes Sept. 16.