Bioenergy

English Biodiesel Project Unveiled

The world’s largest biodiesel producing complex is to be built in Tees Valley, creating 75 direct new jobs, said developers. The Biofuels Corporation has chosen the Seal Sands site as the base for its ý25m (US$ 40.9 million) complex, developing renewable and greener fuels from crops such as oil seed rape.

Tees Valley, England – September 22, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The world’s largest biodiesel producing complex is to be built in Tees Valley, creating 75 direct new jobs, said developers. The Biofuels Corporation has chosen the Seal Sands site as the base for its £25m (US$ 40.9 million) complex, developing renewable and greener fuels from crops such as oil seed rape. Key to the firm’s decision is the backing of One NorthEast and a £1.2m (US$2 million) Regional Selective Assistance grant to help fund the initial building of two plants on site, with the prospect of three more to follow. North East farmers could also reap the benefits of the plant as the company is interested in taking oil seed rape for biodiesel production from local sources for the first 250,000 ton complex and will also import palm oil and rape oil to be converted into biodiesel. This fuel will then be mixed at 5 percent with standard diesel before being delivered at garage pumps to run standard cars and trucks – significantly cutting carbon dioxide and sulphur emissions and improving engine efficiency. Middlesbrough-based Biofuels Corporation is finalizing private financial backing for the scheme and will lodge a planning application with Stockton Borough Council this month. The Seal Sands plant – to be built on brownfield land – will be the most advanced of its type in the world, said the developers. Biofuels estimates the new complex will create 200 new spin-off jobs in the local economy at nearby Tees Port where raw materials will be shipped into using neighbouring storage facilities. “Seal Sands has everything we could ask for,” said John Nicholas, Biofuels Chief Executive. “It is strategically located for excellent transport links and, of course, has a well-developed chemicals infrastructure. It has a deepwater port on its doorstep and available storage. Most importantly, there is a wealth of skilled people living in the area who we can recruit to work at our complex.” Work could start on building the new plants before the end of this year and be completed by late 2004. The plant will take in 21,000 tons of vegetable oil every month, converting it into biodiesel. Standard cars will be able to run on the new biodiesel mix without conversion. “One of the key benefits of this project is the impact it can have on widening the range of chemical industry activities in the Tees Valley-and making us a major player in the ‘new fuels’ sector,” said Dr. Ian Click, Chief Executive of the Teesside Chemical Initiative.