BIOFUELS company D1 Oils last night confirmed it was moving a test refinery to Teesside.

The Stockton company's prototype refinery, which is in the North-West, will move to Billingham Industrial Estate.

It is also moving its offices to Billingham from the Preston Farm Industrial estate, in Stockton.

D1 is in partnership agreements with farmers and governments in Asia and Africa, growing trees that produce oil-bearing nuts. That oil is processed into biodiesel.

The prototype refinery is testing methods of biodiesel manufacturing. The outcome will dictate how the refineries it plans to build all over the world will operate.

In April, The Northern Echo reported how D1 planned to bring the refinery to Teesside to continue its research and development, and how it plans to build two more refineries in the region.

A spokeswoman said yesterday it was too early to say how many jobs the research and development operation of the business would create with the move.

The company has more than doubled staff numbers since floating on the junior stock market and has 20 staff on Teesside in logistics, project management, engineering and administration, with about ten staff working in business development in London.

It predicted that more than 100 people would eventually be employed by the company on Teesside.

D1 is already using local contractors.