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Vivergo bioethanol plant accepts first grain

Apr. 11, 2012, London, UK - UK-based wheat and grain marketing company Frontier Agriculture said it has made its first wheat delivery to Vivergo Fuels' newly constructed bioethanol plant in Hull, UK.

Frontier said it expects the Vivergo plant to consume up to 1,200t of grain over the next two weeks with commissioning and initial ethanol production operations already “well under way”. With grain deliveries expected to “ramp up significantly”, the company predicts that the new plant will be operating at full capacity by “late spring”.

The inaugural delivery represents the first step in an exclusive agreement between the UK supplier and one of Europe's largest bioethanol production facilities.

According to Vivergo, the facility at Hull will produce up to 420mn litres/yr of ethanol using locally sourced animal feed grade wheat. The site includes port and road access offering entry to both the European and UK fuels markets.

The new developments come in the wake of the recent publication of a new EU regulation eliminating the competition previously posed by cheap imported ethanol-gasoline blends such as E90. European ethanol producers have long complained of being severely undercut by imports of heavily subsidised US-produced E90.

With the elimination of E90, developments at Vivergo and elsewhere suggest that European producers are taking positive steps to ramp up production through a range of new projects.

The news from Frontier follows confirmation from Pannonia Ethanol that its newly constructed corn-ethanol plant in Dunafolder, Hungary, with a production capacity of up to 240mn l/yr, has also entered production.