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European Parliament vote on biofuels will support Ensus, in Wilton, near Redcar
“A NORTH-EAST biofuel refinery, forced to stop work after a poor harvest and increasing energy costs, has received support from European ministers.
The European Parliament today voted to install a six per cent cap on the amount of fuels coming from land used to grow crops for the transport energy market.
Ministers say the figure will give producers, including the Ensus plant, in Wilton, near Redcar, space to grow, though campaigners' claim the process takes up too much land and causes increased poverty and climate change.
The £250m Ensus bioethanol factory, owned by German-based CropEnergies AG, opened in February 2010, and uses wheat to create bioethanol that is added to petrol, with excess protein and grain used to make animal feed.
North-East MEP Fiona Hall, who worked with industry leaders to re-open the plant, said the cap would help the Ensus factory.
She said: “A cap is needed to prevent unlimited expansion of crop-based biofuels, which can conflict with food production.
“Setting the cap at six per cent will give the industry a fair chance to adapt to policy changes, while a sub-target of 2.5 per cent will incentivise investments into advanced second-generation biofuel.
“Different kinds of biofuel have different social and environmental impacts, and Ensus is an example of a highly efficient and sustainable plant that will benefit from a separate 7.5 per cent target for bioethanol.
“A six cap will give Ensus more room to move."
The Ensus factory employs about 100 workers in Wilton and Yarm, but closed for the third time in three years in April, citing a poor harvest and rising energy costs.
The Northern Echo understands work could restart later this year.
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