November 23, 2007 A new, state of the art plant that will produce bioethanol from locally-grown sugar beet has been opened in the U.K. The British Sugar facility at Wissington, Norfolk, has an annual production capacity of 70 million liters.

The new plant was opened by the the U.K. Minister for Sustainable Food and Farming and Animal Health, Lord Rooker. The first of its kind in the UK, the facility will require 110,000 tonnes of sugar per annum to meet its capacity. The sugar used will be surplus to the needs of the food market.

In March next year the U.K. Government will introduce the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) which states that 5% of all fuel to be sold on forecourts must be from renewable sources by 2010.

Work began on the £20 million Wissington plant in late 2005. The U.K. is in its early stages of ethanol production with Brazil and the United States estimated to account for 90 percent of global ethanol production.