South Somerset District Council Planning Committee yesterday voted unanimously to grant permission for Green Spirit Fuels, the UK’s leading bio-ethanol development company, to build the UK’s first grain bio-ethanol plant at Henstridge in Somerset.
The bio-refinery will produce bio-ethanol from grain for use as a clean vehicle fuel, along with two main co-products in the form of an animal feed and bottled carbon dioxide for use in industrial applications.
Bio-ethanol is best blended with petrol and will contribute towards the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (a requirement for all road fuel to contain 5% bio-fuel by 2010).
Construction of the plant, capable of producing 100,000 tonnes of fuel, is expected to commence during 2006 with production starting in 2007.
Managing Director Malcolm Shepherd commented: “We are obviously delighted with today’s decision. This will confirm the South West as the leading region in renewable and sustainable energy and will contribute not just to the health of the environment but also to the well-being of the farming community.”