Grant towards construction costs for the first commercial plant in Europe using its advanced BioEnergy Process Technology.

INEOS Bio awarded £7.3m grant from One North East and the Department for Energy and Climate Change for construction of Europe’s first advanced bioethanol from waste plant using the INEOS BioEnergy Process Technology.

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  • The 30 million litre commercial-scale bioethanol plant planned for the North East of England aims to convert biodegradable household and commercial waste to carbon-neutral biofuel for use in today’s cars and renewable electricity for homes and industry.
  • Europe’s first waste to bioethanol plant at Seal Sands could be operational by 2012, helping to create 350 construction jobs and over 40 permanent skilled roles.
  • An expanded biorefinery, to be operational by 2015, would help to meet the UK’s renewable energy targets for transport fuel, power and heat set for 2020.

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Lyndhurst, UK – INEOS Bio today announced that it has received an offer of a £7.3m grant towards £52m construction costs for the first commercial plant in Europe using its advanced BioEnergy Process Technology. The plant, to be located at the INEOS Seal Sands site in the Tees Valley, is designed to produce 24,000 tonnes per year (30 million litres) of carbon-neutral road transport fuel and generate more than 3MW of clean electricity for export from over 100,000 tonnes per year of biodegradable household and commercial waste. This would provide the biofuel requirement of around 250,000 vehicles per year running on E10* and the electricity needs of 6000 households.

Speaking about the announcement, Peter Williams, CEO of INEOS Bio, said: “Using our technology, the waste that is collected from homes and offices and otherwise thrown away, can be re-cycled into clean biofuel for cars and renewable electricity for homes and industry.”

“This grant from One North East and the Department for Energy and Climate Change, together with the considerable support that we are receiving from organisations such as the National Non Food Crop Centre, is enabling us to make progress with our commercialisation plans in the North East of England.”

Subject to final agreements, this advanced bioethanol plant is due to be completed by 2012, creating around 40 new permanent jobs at the plant and 350 jobs in the construction phase. Once operational, it is intended that the facility will be expanded into a larger integrated biorefinery, combining advanced bioenergy production with advanced waste treatment by 2015. The biorefinery would help to meet the UK’s renewable energy targets for transport fuel, power and heat set for 2020 through the Renewable Energy Directive.

Following the successful completion of a detailed feasibility study by INEOS Bio DECC has now approved funding of £4.5m for this next phase of the project. In addition, the Regional Development Agency One North East is investing £2.8m, of which £1.8m has been secured through the Tees Valley Industrial Programme.

The INEOS BioEnergy Process Technology combines thermochemical and biochemical technologies to achieve energy-efficient and low-cost biofuel production from a wide range of biomass materials, including household and industrial waste. At the heart of the INEOS Bio technology is an anaerobic fermentation step, through which naturally occurring bacteria convert gases derived directly from biomass into bioethanol. This bioethanol production is integrated with combined heat and power generation. The process supports high recycling and high landfill diversion rates and an independent life cycle assessment** indicates that the bioethanol produced would deliver 100% green house gas savings compared to using petrol in today’s cars.

One North East Chairman Margaret Fay, who recently visited the Seal Sands plot where the plant is planned to be built, said: “INEOS Bio is a fantastic example of the forward-thinking companies which are bringing new jobs to North East England and this is another major investment for the Tees Valley Industrial Programme.

“Unique projects like this are placing our region and the UK at the forefront of low carbon economy and this revolutionary new plant has the potential to provide us with a solution for our waste and a significant renewable energy resource for many years to come.”

Full planning consent for the initial INEOS BioEnergy plant at Seal Sands has been awarded to INEOS Bio by Stockton Council and no objections have been raised for the full biorefinery.

Councillor Bob Cook, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Regeneration, said: “This is excellent news both for Stockton and the wider Tees Valley.

“In the current climate it is really good to see new investment coming forward which will benefit the local community not only by creating jobs but also a potential supply chain for other businesses in the area.”

The Tees Valley Industrial Programme (TVIP) is a £60m investment over the next two years from One North East and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) specifically to support the area’s industrial transition to low carbon and advanced manufacturing, which is expected to create an estimated 3,000 new jobs in the short to medium term and over 10,000 jobs in the long term.

The Tees Valley Industrial Programme is supporting companies through the Grant for Business Investment product, which is part of Solutions for Business – the Government’s package of publicly funded support products offering help to companies to start, grow and succeed. Solutions for Business makes it easier for companies to get the advice and assistance that they need.

(Note:)

* E10* is a blend of 10% by volume bioethanol in 90% by volume petrol
** Eunomia comparative lifecycle assessment – Ineos Bio Limited, Seal Sands’ waste to biofuels initial plant, March 2010

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