* Biorefinery will be one of the biggest in Europe
* Potential customers include ConocoPhillips and Total
LONDON Dec 6 Vivergo Fuels said on Thursday
that its biorefinery near Hull in eastern England has started
bioethanol production and is expected to be fully operational in
the first quarter of 2013.
The Saltend biorefinery, which will be one the biggest in
Europe, will have the capacity to use 1.1 million tonnes of
feed-grade wheat a year to produce 420 million litres of
bioethanol, a type of alcohol that can be used as a petrol
It will be Britain's second large biorefinery and will also
be able to produce 500,000 tonnes a year of animal feed.
Vivergo is a joint venture between AB Sugar, BP
The other big biorefinery is operated by Ensus, which is
owned by U.S. private equity funds the Carlyle Group and
Riverstone. The Ensus plant in northeast England has similar
capacity to the Vivergo operation.
Biorefining breaks down the starch in wheat to sugars, which
are then fermented into alcohol through a similar process to
that used in a whisky distillery.
The fuel produced by Vivergo has two potential customers
near by in the ConocoPhillips Humber refinery and
Total's Lindsey Oil Refinery, but it can also be
transported on tankers to major markets such as Rotterdam.