Government gives over £1 million for bioenergy project

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has awarded a £1.16 million grant for the development of the UK’s largest commercial production facility for clean-burning renewable fuel, combined with power generation.

The facility, which is estimated to cost in excess of £4.5 million, is to be developed by a consortium of companies, and is intended to produce 12,000 litres of fuel per day from renewable sources such as timber, sawdust and sugar cane. The integrated fuel-production and power generation plant will be used to demonstrate the commercial viability of such facilities on a larger scale.

“I attach high priority to research and development of sustainable energy sources,” said Energy Minister Peter Hain. “Biomass is a key source of renewable energy and will be very important if we are to achieve our target of securing 10% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2010. I am delighted to announce this offer of government support for this exciting and innovative research project.”

DynaMotive Europe, one of the partners in the consortium, is a subsidiary of the Canadian DynaMotive Technologies Corporation, which has developed its commercially viable ‘BioOil’, and has constructed a pilot study power plant in Vancouver (see related story).

“We are delighted with this unequivocal statement of government support for bioenergy and our exciting new technologies,” said Peter Billins, Chief Executive of British BioGen, the trade association to the UK bioenergy industry. “This is clear evidence that the future of sustainable energy lies in government and industry working in partnership to deliver real and practical solutions today. BioOil will not end the era of fossil fuels, but it will become a significant addition to the energy mix of the future.”

“We have long-term plans for the production of BioOil as a real alternative to fossil fuels to provide electricity in the UK,” said Dr Adrian Bowles, Director of Border Biofuels, one of the companies in the consortium. “This testing and demonstration of an integrated facility will allow us to refine production techniques, ensuring that BioOil can be developed on this basis.”

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