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Green light for bioethanol plant

16 January 2006

Construction of the UK's first ever grain bio-ethanol refinery has been given the go-ahead.

Builders will begin constructing the plant at Henstridge in Somerset later this year, with production starting in 2007.

Run by Green Spirit Fuels, it is expected to produce 100,000 tonnes of bioethanol every year – the equivalent, the company says, of more than one billion miles of motoring.

Green Spirit Fuels claims the fuel can be quickly transported to the port at Poole and then on to UK petrol refineries, where the bioethanol can be blended with petrol. The company is also looking at the possibility of building other bioethanol plants around the country.

Bioethanol contributes towards the government's Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation. Announced last autumn, the obligation stated that 5% of all motorcar fuel must come from renewable sources by the year 2010.

Two vehicles running on biofuels are already sold in Europe at the moment. Saab launched its 9-5 Biopower saloon and estate models in November. Ford also launched a biofuel Focus recently, known as the Focus Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV).

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