U.K.’s Vivergo Says Its Ethanol Production Start Is Imminent

Vivergo Fuels, set to become the U.K.’s largest ethanol maker, will start production at its plant in northeast England imminently, the company said.

The company, a joint venture between BP Plc (BP/), Associated British Foods Plc (ABF) and DuPont Co., will produce 420 million liters (111 million gallons) of the biofuel annually using 1.1 million metric tons of feed-grade wheat, spokeswoman Anja Hazebroek said today in a telephone interview. The plant also will produce 500,000 tons of animal feed from ethanol byproducts.

“We’re looking to start up before the end of the calendar year,” Hazebroek said. “It’s now getting very imminent.”

Vivergo will be the second major ethanol facility to come online in the U.K. this year, following Ensus Ltd., which restarted output in August at its plant on Teesside, after a 15- month shutdown.

Feed-wheat futures for May delivery have surged 47 percent this year on NYSE Liffe in London, after the wettest U.K. summer in a century hurt crop yields. U.K. farmers harvested 13.31 million tons of wheat this season, down 13 percent from last year, according to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. The country is expected to become a net-importer of the grain for the first time in 11 years.

Construction at Vivergo’s facility near Hull, England, began in 2008, Hazebroek said. The company plans to use only wheat sourced in the U.K. and won’t operate using other crops including corn, the most common grain for ethanol production in the U.S., she said.

Vivergo will be the U.K.’s largest ethanol producer, according to its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney McFerron in London at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Deane at jdeane3@bloomberg.net

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