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Winners of 25m low emission biofuels prize announced

Whisky, forestry and household by-products to be turned into alternative transport fuel at three new plants in UK

Three new facilities in England and Scotland will turn the likes of whisky, forestry and household by-products into low emission alternative transport fuel, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

The Advanced Plasma Power plant in Swindon

The Advanced Plasma Power plant in Swindon

The government this week (September 7) revealed that three companies have been awarded a share of its £25 million Advanced Biofuels Demonstration competition, which was launched in December 2014 with the aim of developing fuels from waste products to power cars and lorries.

Businesses in Edinburgh, Teesside and Swindon will benefit from the funding, after being chosen from a total of six bidders previously shortlisted in April 2015 (see AirQualityNews.com story).

According to DfT, the £25 million funding will enable the three businesses to invest in new premises and technology to help generate more than 5,000 new jobs by 2030, open-up international markets and promote the renewable energy sector.

The winning bidders are:

  • Celtic Renewables, based in Edinburgh, has been awarded £11 million to fund a new plant to make biofuels from Scotch whisky by-products, with plans to open a further three commercial plants across Scotland in the future.
  • Advanced Plasma Power in Swindon will receive £11 million to help develop biofuels from ordinary household waste.
  • Nova Pangaea Technologies Ltd, based in Tees Valley, will receive £3 million to help make biofuels from forestry waste.
DfT biofuels infographic

The government believes the investment will generate 5,000 jobs

Transport Minister Andrew Jones also visited Celtic Renewables in Edinburgh on Monday (September 7) to see how the company plans to use whisky by-products in order to generate up to £100 million of transport fuel each year.

And, announcing the winning bidders on Monday, Mr Jones said:

“Biofuels have an important role to play in keeping Britain moving forward in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way. This £25 million is not only a vital investment in technology that will help secure a greener future but will also support the creation of thousands of jobs.

“Advanced biofuels have the potential to save at least 60% of the greenhouse gas emissions from the equivalent fossil fuel. The three successful bids show how the government is investing in transport and making better, clean journeys.”

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