Morrisons gives a boost to biofuels

Farmers hoping to cash in on supplying Britain’s fledgling biofuel industry received a boost last week with the launch of the country’s first bioethanol filling station in Suffolk.

Called “Harvest Bioethanol”, the fuel is refined from sugar beet and wheat. It will go on sale at five forecourts across East Anglia after being launched at a Morrisons supermarket in Lowestoft last Friday (17 March).

Due to the absence of any bioethanol production plants in the UK the fuel is currently being imported.

But experts believe Morrisons is stimulating the creation of a market which British farmers will soon be able to supply.

Up to 70m litres of bioethanol will be made each year from sugar beet grown by farmers across East Anglia once British Sugar’s £20m bioethanol plant at Wissington, Norfolk, begins production within the next 18 months.

James Beal, managing director of Renewables East, which is trying to kick-start the renewable energy industry in the region, said biofuels could provide new business for local farmers, refiners and support industries.

“We have the refining know-how, thanks to close links with offshore exploration, and of course there is ample opportunity to re-invigorate our agricultural economy.”