British bioethanol firm Vireol picks U.S. over UK for new plant

LONDON, April 11 Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:26pm EDT

LONDON, April 11 (Reuters) - British biofuels producer Vireol is to open a bioethanol plant in Virginia in the United States, instead of an original plan to build in Britain, the company said on Friday.

Vireol said it had decided to take advantage of the more focused legislative environment, more mature market and more cost efficient operations in the United States.

The firm expects the plant in Hopewell, Virginia, which will begin production this month, to turn over $150 million in its first year.

The company says it is still committed to bringing a bioethanol plant to Britain as well.

Managing director Ged Russell said the company remained hopeful the British government would create a favourable investment climate for renewable transport fuel production.

The United States is the world's leading ethanol producer, with 13.3 billion gallons in 2013, followed by Brazil's 6.3 billion gallons, according to the Washington-based Renewable Fuels Association, which represents the U.S. ethanol industry. (Reporting by Shadi Bushra. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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