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Vivergo Fuels UK’s biggest

bioethanol producer to close

    By Nicola Watson  
       
   

VIVERGO Fuels at has announced it proposes to cease production from September 30 with the loss of 150 jobs.

More than 1.1 million tonnes of wheat from 900 farms across Yorkshire is processed at the Saltend plant which is the UK’s biggest bioethanol producer and Europe’s second largest producer of bioethanol, a low-carbon renewable transport fuel which is blended with petrol.

The news comes as a bitter blow to Yorkshire farm businesses says the National Farmers Union.

Its regional director for the north east, Adam Bedford said “It’s clear the closure of the plant will have an immediate and lasting impact on everyone associated with it.

“The 1.1m tonnes of wheat processed by Vivergo represents a significant proportion of UK feed wheat production and an even higher proportion of Yorkshire’s output.

“As a result, its loss will be keenly felt by growers across our region, whose grain will now have to find its way into other domestic feed wheat markets across the north east.”

Mr Bedford added that the closure of the plant was also detrimental to the wider agri-food economy across Yorkshire and the north east, which remains a significant driver of jobs, growth and investment.

The news comes at the time the biofuel industry has ‘suffered for a number of years following government procrastination on renewable fuel policy,’ according to NFU combinable crops board chairman Tom Bradshaw.

“Farmers supplying wheat into the Vivergo plant will have to find somewhere else to sell their product, and that’s likely to be a greater distance from the farm resulting in increased transport costs and a lower price,” Mr Bradshaw said.

Mark Chesworth managing director, Vivergo Fuels Ltd, commented: “I am extremely disappointed at having to announce the proposed cessation of production as of September 30 at the Vivergo Fuels plant. 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.”

Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart described it as: ‘very sad news.’

“The redundancies are deeply regrettable and I have written to the Department of Work and Pensions to ensure that Vivergo’s employees are offered excellent advice and help in finding another job. I am here tohelp any of my constituents who need support.”

“I know Vivergo has been alarmed at ongoing difficult trading conditions. These are characterised by a low bioethanol price, high wheat price and a slow-growing market with delays in the implementation of E10. I am extremely disappointed this adverse trading environment has led toVivergo deciding to close its doors. My work continues, cross-party with other local MPs, to get E10 in place to help secure jobs in the East Riding.

“The redundancies are deeply regrettable and I have written to the DWP to ensure that Vivergo’s employees are offered excellent advice and help in finding another job. I am here to help any of my constituents who need support.”

 
         
The Holderness Gazette - Serving News to the Holderness Region