The Vireol plant will be the biggest ethanol plant on the US east coast

UK firm moves large biofuel project to US

A British company has suspended its plans to build a large bioethanol plant in Grimsby, north England, and moved the project to the USA to reduce cost.

Vireol Bio-Energy said more mature market and focused legislative environment were the main reasons for the company to opt for Virginia instead of the UK.

The multi-feedstock bioethanol plant in Hopewell will be the largest ethanol plant on the US east coast, creating 70 direct jobs, with an expected turnover of $150m (£90m) dollars in the first year.

"We are still enthusiastic about the opportunity in the UK and remain hopeful that the UK Government will create an investment and regulatory environment that will help to position UK at the forefront of renewable transport fuel production, both in Europe and internationally," said Vireol’s managing director Ged Russell.

"In the meantime, we are very much looking forward to working with our US partners, including the Commonwealth of Virginia, as we commence commercial operations.

"These parties have sensed the opportunity and have provided us with the perfect springboard to launch into the US. Their support has been very significant in our decision to invest on the other side of the Atlantic."

The firm said it still considers building another plant in the UK in the future.

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