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What is Vivergo Fuels?

Vivergo Fuels was formed in 2007 as biorefinery for the future. As a joint venture between AB Sugar, BP and Du Pont, this business was set up to help deliver around ½ of the UK’s forecast biofuel demand for petrol. In 2015, AB Sugar acquired BP’s stake in Vivergo Fuels, and in 2017 acquired Du Pont’s stake.

When will the Vivergo plant open?

Production commenced in Q4 2012, and was officially opened by the RT. Hon. Vince Cable on July 8th 2013. Full rates were achieved in December 2014.

How efficient is the production process?

Vivergo’s process is hugely efficient, all the feed grade wheat is converted in ethanol and animal feed with virtually no waste.

How is the plant powered?

The plant uses combined heat and power technology to supply 100% of its power.

Who are the shareholders?

Vivergo’s shareholder is AB Sugar.

What has been the amount of capital investment?

Vivergo represents a £350m investment into the Humber region.

How will Vivergo Fuels benefit the regional and UK economy?

Vivergo Fuels represents a £350m investment in UK renewables/manufacturing and has directly contributed approximately £60m to the local economy so far, but the overall bioethanol industry could be worth at least £1 billion per annum to the UK economy by 2020 – and potentially a great deal more if policy encourages investment in the sector.

How many jobs will be created?

To date Vivergo has helped to create over 2000 jobs directly and indirectly in the UK, many of which are in the Humber region. The business directly employs around 100 people all in highly skilled positions.

Couldn’t wheat destined for the Vivergo plant be better used in food production?

Vivergo Fuels will use 1.1m tonnes of feed grade wheat which currently is primarily used in animal feed products – the wheat grown in the local area is not used directly in the food chain (bread, cereals etc). As well as producing bioethanol, Vivergo also produces up to 500,000 tonnes of animal feed products every year – enough to feed over 340,000 dairy cows every day (in terms of protein requirements), which represents about 18% of the national dairy herd.

What would Vivergo’s 1.1m tonnes of feed grade wheat otherwise be used for?

The UK produces approximately 14 – 16 million mt of wheat per annum of which 2.5-3mt is exported to the Netherlands and Iberian Peninsula for use in animal feed and biofuel production. Vivergo Fuels makes use of some of this surplus and gives half back to UK agriculture in a form that has more protein and which is more appropriate to the needs of the farmers.

Will you source your raw materials for Vivergo Fuels from local farmers?

The site’s proximity to the UK’s wheat belt area – one of the highest yielding in the world – is one of the prime reasons for Vivergo Fuels being located in the Humber region. Of the 1.1 million tonnes of feed grade wheat needed by the plant every year, the majority will be sourced from local farms in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, making the company the biggest wheat buyer in the UK.

What happens if there is a poor local harvest?

Vivergo’s preference would always be to use UK-sourced wheat whose origin and sustainability is monitored and proven.

Why do we need to produce bioethanol here in the UK?

The UK is committed to meeting the EU wide 10% renewable energy in transport target via the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) and sustainable biofuels will be the main ‘vehicle’ for achieving this target. Biofuels currently make up around 4% of transport fuels used today. Vivergo’s production capacity represents around half of the UK’s 2013/14 requirements under the RTFO contributing to a more diverse energy mix, and helping to tackle energy security and climate change, both here and across the world.

What environmental benefits are there to Vivergo’s bioethanol?

The Carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted when the biofuel is burnt in the vehicle is offset by the C02 absorbed during the growing of the crop. Vivergo’s bioethanol will offer greenhouse gas (GHG) savings in excess of 50% over standard petrol production, the equivalent of removing 180,000 cars from the road each year.

What benefits will Vivergo’s animal feed offer?

Historically, approximately 80% of the protein needed for EU agriculture was imported, and Vivergo has helped to reduce this reliance. The local wheat that Vivergo uses is already used for animal feed, although much was previously exported. The process in essence takes in 1.1 million tonnes of this wheat and gives half back to UK agriculture in a form that has more protein and which is more appropriate to the needs of the livestock/dairy farmers. Vivergo plays an important role in agriculture, creating a new market for animal feed grade wheat, directly supporting local farmers and creating agricultural jobs in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

How much animal feed do you produce?

We produce up to 500,000 tonnes per year, making us the largest single source supplier of animal feed in the UK.

How do Vivergo’s products help the environment?

Vivergo’s bioethanol offers Green House Gas (GHG) savings in excess of 50% over standard petrol production, that’s the equivalent of removing 180,000 cars off the road each year.

How important is Vivergo’s role in biofuels?

Vivergo delivers about ½ of the UK’s forecast biofuel demand annually.

Why is Vivergo more successful than some of the other UK and European plants?

Vivergo Fuels carried out detailed evaluations as part of its business model, and is committed to its long term future success.

Is there potential for conversion of the plant in the future?

Vivergo Fuels is ideally positioned for future technology deployment, particularly biobutanol conversion.