Details of how farmers can supply wheat to the UK’s first major bioethanol plant will be unveiled within the next few weeks.

Malcolm Shepherd, managing director of Green Spirit Fuels, said growers would be offered three to five-year contracts to supply the plant, which will be based at Henstridge in Somerset.

Construction could begin as early as next summer.

“We will be asking for expressions of interest from farmers who would like to enter into long-term supply contracts, where we will guarantee a price that will be easily above the cost of production.”

Mr Shepherd refused to reveal what the exact price would be, telling delegates at a Renewable Energy conference, organised by the Country Land and Business Association in Cambridge on 29 November, he would be “bloody daft” to do so.

But he insisted farmers would benefit because the plant would convert about 330,000t of surplus grain into three co-products – bioethanol, high protein cattle feed and carbon dioxide for industrial markets.

Green Spirit Fuels was founded by Wessex Grain in July 2005.