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04/03/21 - 85 jobs return as Vivergo biofuels plant is back in action with greener petrol heading to pumps

User AvatarPosted by Colin Weston at 04/03/2021 16:42:26
85 jobs return as Vivergo biofuels plant is back in action with greener petrol heading to pumps

Eighty five jobs are being created as Hull’s £350 million mothballed biofuels plant is brought back on line.

Vivergo Fuels was forced to close in 2018, having been ahead of legislation to drive the greening up of petrol.

Now September will see a higher volume blend - up from five per cent to 10 - made available at the pumps. It will see C02 emissions from transport cut by 750,000 tonnes a year.

Owner of the Saltend site, AB Sugar, has welcomed the move that allows the refinery to re-start, with the jobs to add to a core 15 that have remained. It has long called for the step-up, with cross-party support.

Dr Mark Carr, group chief executive, said: “It was an extremely difficult decision we had to take to close in September 2018, but we have continued to maintain this world-class plant in the anticipation that it could re-start if the conditions were right to do so. With the Government’s announcement to introduce E10 to UK vehicles and improved market conditions, we are re-opening the plant and will start manufacturing bioethanol in early 2022.

“We will once again be investing in creating a highly skilled workforce and will be looking to recruit around 85 people for specialist roles over the coming weeks, as well as seeking opportunities with past partners, growers and customers whose support since 2007 has been invaluable.

“This is good news for a sustainable British biofuels industry, the economy within the Humber region, and the environment and consumers. I look forward to our continued investment and ambition for the UK bioethanol industry”.

“We’ve long been calling for this introduction as E10 is one of the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective ways for the UK to reduce its carbon emissions, while providing an economic boost to sustain the British biofuels industry, and the local and national economy," Dr Carr said.

Vivergo had operated for 11 years, with intermittent production halts. Fingers were pointed over “government inaction” when the tanks finally ran dry. A total of 115 jobs were lost.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’re going further and faster than ever to cut emissions from our roads, cleaning up our air as we accelerate towards a zero-emission transport future.

A small number of older vehicles, including classic cars and some from the early 2000s, will continue to need E5 fuel, so it will be maintained in the ‘Super’ grade.

“Although more and more motorists are driving electric vehicles, there are steps we can take to reduce emissions from the millions of vehicles already on our roads – the small switch to E10 petrol will help drivers across the country reduce the environmental impact of every journey, as we build back greener.

“The two petrol blends that are currently widely available in the UK contain no more than five per cent ethanol, known as E5; the fuel being rolled out in September has up to 10 per cent. Using bioethanol in place of traditional petrol can reduce CO2 emissions and, therefore, increasing the ethanol content of petrol could help us meet our climate change targets.”

"The move to ergo has given us an excellent opportunity to have a dedicated on-site point of access for both tenants and the wider business population. This will enable us to continue our work supporting regional businesses and promoting supply chain opportunities."

- Dawn Hall, Business Support - Project Manager, East Riding of Yorkshire Council.