United Kingdom to advance biodiesel production, use

By | May 01, 2004
Two proposed plants, increased tax incentives and a new retailer are giving the United Kingdom (UK) a boost in the biodiesel industry.

In April, two companies announced plans to construct biodiesel plants. Biofuels Corporation plans to raise GBP14 million (US$24.8 million) for a 250,000-metric-ton-per-year facility on the northeast coast of England, according to the Financial Times. The total project will cost GBP21 million (US$37.2 million). The project has a confirmed grant of GBP1.2 million (US$2.1 million) from One NorthEast, a regional development agency, and a loan of GBP17 million (US$30.1 million) from Barclays Bank after adequate equity has been raised.
Production is set to start at the beginning of 2005. The plant would use vegetable oil crops, such as rapeseed oil, for feedstock. Biofuels

Corporation is planning a second similar plant for completion one year later.

Meanwhile, Greenergy and partner Novaol have unveiled plans for a multi-feedstock biodiesel plant in the UK. The GBP10-million (US$17.7-million) facility will take in 100,000 metric tons per year of biodiesel, using rapeseed and waste oils for feedstock. If approval is received, Greenergy and Novaol plan to open the plant 18 months later.

Greenergy is the UK's largest independent supplier of low-emission fuels and currently produces more than 1.5 million metric tons of fuel per year. In late April, UK gasoline retailer Tesco announced it would sell Greenergy's biodiesel at more than 20 of its pumps in southeast England after a successful two-month pilot project.

According to Reuters, drivers can switch from their normal diesel to Greenergy's "GlobalDiesel" without engine modification. The B5 blend has five percent less carbon emissions and costs only slightly more than regular diesel fuel.

Furthering the UK's biodiesel production market, the nation's government agreed to extend biodiesel tax incentives through 2007. The incentive will total 20 pence per liter of biodiesel, starting Jan. 1, 2005.
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