Mandelson Welcomes World Class Advanced Biofuel Centre
A cutting-edge technology development centre planned for Hull will help to grow the UK’s economy and enhance its reputation as a world-class centre for innovation and research, Lord Mandelson said during a visit to the region today.
Energy industry giant BP and sustainable science solutions company DuPont have joined forces to form Kingston Research Ltd, which will focus on the commercialisation of advanced biofuel technology, at a £25m purpose-built development and demonstration facility at BP’s Saltend site, near Hull.
Working closely with Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Agency for Yorkshire and Humber and UK Trade & Investment, this new joint venture emphasises the region’s and the UK’s ability to attract crucial research and development operations. Twenty-seven jobs will be created in the region.
Lord Mandelson said: “This will place the UK at the forefront of next generation biofuel development.
“New industries such as low-carbon and renewable technologies have huge potential for driving growth. This is precisely the type of investment project we need attract in order for these industries to thrive in the UK.
“I’m delighted that Hull and East Riding are at the cutting edge of R&D to realise that greener, brighter future.”
Kingston Research Limited General Manager, Luc Van Den Hemel: “Biobutanol is a new lower-carbon fuel and we are excited about demonstrating this technology in the Humberside region. Biobutanol is a biofuel that can be made from all the same crops as bioethanol and can be blended into petrol at higher levels, which means that we’ll be able to introduce biofuels more quickly. In the future, it will be possible to convert bioethanol refineries to produce biobutanol, allowing this industry to make an even larger contribution to meeting the world’s energy needs.”
Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Forward commented: “This is great news for Yorkshire and Humber and demonstrates the region’s ability to attract significant inward investments that will play a vital role towards tackling climate change, in this case advanced biofuels. Yorkshire Forward recognises and supports the environmental technologies sector, and has committed extra resource to support the development of new technology.”
UK Trade and Investment, with the assistance of British Ambassador Sir Nigel Sheinwald in the United States, worked with Yorkshire Forward to bring this plant to the region.
Sir Nigel Sheinwald said:
“This is an excellent example of the close relationship between British and American business, and the confidence investors have in the UK workforce. I congratulate all involved and look forward to BP and DuPont leading the way with the next generation of biofuels.”
The BP site at Hull is also home to Vivergo Fuels, a joint venture between BP, British Sugar and DuPont. Vivergo is constructing a world-scale bioethanol facility that will begin producing bioethanol in 2010 and will play a major role in meeting the UK’s requirements for biofuels. Vivergo will employ approximately seventy people when operational.
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