Biofuels gas pumps© Photo Alto/Rex Shutterstock

East Yorkshire bioethanol producer Vivergo is calling for the government to bring forward the compulsory use of more bioethanol in road fuels.

It wants to see a mandatory 10% inclusion rate before the EU 2020 deadline for this to be introduced as matter of course. 

The current rules are for a 5% inclusion rate and Vivergo argues that the uplift to 10% (also known as E10) would create more stable demand for more of the UK’s large wheat harvest.

The government is understood to be drafting a consultation on E10 and its policy on biofuel use on UK roads up until 2020, which will be published next year. 

The company can use up to 1.1m tonnes of wheat a year in its process, sourcing from farms within a 50-mile radius.  

See also: Teesside bioethanol plant shuts down

“E10 represents a fast, cost-effective and straightforward channel for the UK to stabilise the market for farmers and, at the same time, meet EU emissions challenges,” said Mark Chesworth, managing director of Vivergo.

“E10 represents a fast, cost-effective and straightforward channel for the UK to stabilise the market for farmers and, at the same time, meet EU emissions challenges”
Mark Chesworth,Vivergo

“The bioethanol we produce reduces [greenhouse gas] emissions by over 50% compared to petrol.

“In transport, E10 will help to reduce global emission levels, mitigate the rapid rate of climate change, and improve air quality.”

The introduction of E10 could encourage both factories to return to running at full capacity, which could mean them using 2.1m tonnes/year of feed wheat, said the NFU.

“This year we have seen excellent yields, with domestic demand well supplied and with Ensus shut the biofuel factories are operating at reduced capacity, leading to the exportable (wheat) surplus entering the world market with further price pressure,” said Brett Askew, NFU North East crops board chairman.

“Right now UK farmers need the government to get behind the biofuel industry and to support production, the benefits will be there for all to see,” he said.