A SHIFT to a new, lower emission petrol set to be rolled out across the UK will secure jobs at the North-East biofuel plant where it will be produced, the Government has announced.
The planned introduction of E10 fuel at petrol stations in September is expected to boost the Government’s ambitions to reach net zero by 2050.
E10 is a mixture of petrol and ethanol made from materials including low grade grains, sugars and waste wood – and could cut transport CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year.
That’s the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road – or all the cars in North Yorkshire.
The Department for Transport said its introduction will also boost job opportunities in the North-East, by increasing production at existing biofuel plants – including the Ensus bioethanol plant in Wilton, near Redcar.
This will support the UK’s wider bioeconomy by ensuring the materials needed for E10 are produced and refined in the UK.
Director of Ensus UK Ltd, Grant Pearson, described the announcement as “excellent news”.
He said: “E10 will mean that the majority of petrol sold in the UK will have lower greenhouse gas emissions than today, when fully introduced.
“Lowering emissions immediately for the current petrol car pool is very important, especially until electric vehicles can make a larger contribution to saving emissions in transport.
“The benefits for the UK go beyond the environment, particularly in the North-East where the Ensus manufacturing facility is based and supports thousands of jobs both directly and in the supply chain.”
Welcoming the announcement, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “The fantastic news that Ensus, based on the Wilton site, will be ramping up production on the cutting-edge E10 biofuel shows once again that Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are leading the way for the whole of the UK in clean energy, growth and the industries of the future.
“This boost to our bioeconomy complements many other recent announcements from our region, such as becoming the home of the UK’s first Hydrogen Transport Centre, leading research, development and testing of new hydrogen transport technology for buses, cars, trains, lorries boats and planes.
“And with Net Zero Teesside’s Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage project also in development, to create the UK’s first zero-carbon industrial cluster, it shows that whether it’s clean transport or industry, we’re driving investment, spearheading nationally significant schemes and becoming the place to do business in these sectors – creating good-quality well paid jobs for local workers in key industries of the future.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’re going further and faster than ever to cut emissions from our roads, cleaning up our air as we accelerate towards a zero-emission transport future.
“Although more and more motorists are driving electric vehicles, there are steps we can take to reduce emissions from the millions of vehicles already on our roads – the small switch to E10 petrol will help drivers across the country reduce the environmental impact of every journey, as we build back greener.”
The two petrol blends that are currently widely available in the UK contain no more than five per cent ethanol, known as E5 – the fuel being rolled out in September has up to ten per cent.
Using bioethanol in place of traditional petrol can reduce CO2 emissions, and therefore increasing the ethanol content of petrol could help us meet our climate change targets.
A small number of older vehicles including classic cars, and some from the early 2000s, will continue to need E5 fuel, which is why supplies of E5 petrol will be maintained in the super grade.
Motorists are advised to use the new E10 vehicle checker see if their vehicle is compatible.