TROUBLED biofuel company D1 Oils has sold its mothballed Teesside plant and is in ongoing talks to offload its second one on Merseyside.
In April last year, the Middlesbrough-based company said it was pulling out of the production of biofuel, leading to the closure of its two manufacturing facilities with the loss of 90 jobs.
Now the North East plant at Riverside Park in Middlesbrough has been bought by Middlesbrough logistics company, AV Dawson.
This is the latest in a number of significant property purchases AV Dawson has made in Middlesbrough in a bid to expand its property arm.
It has invested nearly £7m to snap up four sites in the past 12 months and it is now the largest individual landowner on Riverside Park, with more than 80 acres of land. The £1m garnered in the sale will boost D1’s cash reserves, with the company saying it has enough cash to last until the end of next year.
D1 director of corporate communications Graham Prince said: “We are in the process of negotiating on the Liverpool site and we have had a fair amount of interest.
“At this stage it is difficult to say how quickly these talks will progress due to the economic circumstances and the fact that companies are finding it difficult to get the necessary bank finance.”
He went on to say that unlike the Teesside plant, the one at Bromborough, Liverpool, could be sold as a going concern, with it possibly being converted into a chemical manufacturing facility.
Gary Dawson, managing director of AV Dawson, said: “As a company, we have invested heavily in a series of land purchases that has developed our property portfolio considerably. It has brought a good balance between the rental side of the business and the operations arm.
“We continue to provide the entire range of logistical services to major household names and we also now have a significant range of properties for companies to move into on Riverside Park.
“The opportunity to buy the former D1 Oils site was fantastic and it helps put us in a very strong position for when the economy picks up.”
Last week, D1, which was founded by North East entrepreneur Karl Watkin, announced it is to buy back BP’s 50% stake in their joint venture for the planting of energy crop Jatropha.