Vivergo extends plant shutdown period due to legislative uncertainty

Mark Chesworth
Mark Chesworth

UK bioethanol producer Vivergo Fuel has announced plans to bring forward and extend its annual plant maintenance shutdown period as a result of poor market conditions and legislative uncertainty.

The company’s bioethanol plant is based in Salt End, Hull, in the North East of England.

‘Serious consequences’

Speaking about the issue, Mark Chesworth, managing director at Vivergo Fuels, said:  “We reluctantly welcomed the government’s Renewable Transport Fuel obligation (RFTO) proposals in September, but have remained extremely concerned that there is no roll-out framework for E10 in the UK, the absence of which could have serious consequences for the long-term future of the UK bioethanol industry.

“Over the past six weeks we have seen bioethanol prices fall significantly impacting Vivergo profit margins further. 

“Whilst there have been some supply increases this year, the bioethanol market in Europe, and in particular the UK, remains constrained by the government’s inaction.  A result of these market conditions and legislative uncertainty, we have taken the decision to bring forward and extend our annual plant maintenance work to lessen the impact on the plants profitability. Maintenance will commence from the end of November. We will closely monitor the market during the maintenance period ahead of any plant re-starting.

“In the meantime, we continue to work with all stakeholders and the government to support the legislative process and the future roll-out of E10; the simplest most readily available environmentally-friendly option for consumers to help reduce the impact of road transport on our environment and providing stability and confidence in the future of the UK bioethanol industry and the jobs it supports.”

This story was written by Liz Gyekye, editor of Biofuels International. 

Mark Chesworth