Business Secretary Vince Cable has opened a new £350m biofuels plant, saying it was good news for the economy, the environment and jobs.
Hull’s Vivergo plant will produce 420m litres of bioethanol a year when at full capacity, a third of UK current demand.
The 25-acre plant is a joint venture between AB Sugar, BP and DuPont. Vivergo says it believes it has been the largest construction project in the UK outside the Olympics in recent years.
Mr Cable toured the brownfield site on a bank of the Humber yesterday and said: “It’s very good for local workers and for the farmers and it’s an environmentally good project.”
He said he and the Government backed biofuels. “That’s why I’m here.
“There are these environmental issues to be properly taken into account. There are some questions being raised about food being displaced. But I think in this particular place, you’ve got a very, very good process.”
Dr Cable was told the site employed 80 people but supported 1,000 jobs.
Vivergo MD David Richards said the plant took locally grown animal feed wheat, milled it, brewed it into beer and then extracted the alcohol. The plant is the UK’s biggest bioethanol producer.
The protein and fibre left over will be turned into 500,000 tonnes of animal feed a year – enough to feed a fifth of the UK dairy herd.
Vivergo said it would become the UK’s biggest wheat buyer, using 1.1m tonnes a year and aiming to buy most of it from farms in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
Biofuels are 4% of transport fuel.