Vivergo Fuels formed.
Planning approval gained and capital investment sanctioned.
Site preparation work begins.
Construction begins on site.
Recruitment and training of Vivergo Team.
Commissioning continues as first wheat arrives on site.
First production of bioethanol.
First production of animal feed.
Official Opening of the Plant
Vivergo Fuels formed in 2007 as a biorefinery for the future. As a joint venture between AB Sugar, BP and DuPont, this new business will help to deliver a significant portion of the UK's forecast biofuel demand once operational.
Dave Richards appointed as Managing Director and small team established to start developing the business – taking it from business case to fully operating, world scale biofuels business.
Planning approval for the UK's biggest biorefinery is granted, paving the way for site preparation and construction work to commence. The capital investment from the shareholders is sanctioned.
Site preparation begins at Vivergo's 25 acre plot at Saltend Chemicals Park, near Hull. The site was chosen due to its prime position on the Humber Estuary, the attractive combination of existing infrastructure and utilities, as well as the access to available land in a region that supports a skilled workforce for major manufacturing. The availability of combined heat and power technology which will supply steam and power to our plant is also a huge benefit.
Following the commencement of civil works in October 2008, mechanical construction work begins on site. At the peak of construction activity, over 20 contractor companies employing over 800 people were involved.
The Vivergo construction site was believed to be the largest civil engineering/construction project outside of the Olympic programme.
The site has an exemplary safety record, having received the RoSPA Gold Award for Occupational Health and Safety in 2011 and 2012 as well as the National Joint Council for Engineering Construction Industry (NJC) Safety Award for Engineering Construction.
The majority of Vivergo's 80 permanent team members are recruited and training begins. Vivergo Fuels has worked closely with bodies including Jobcentre Plus to offer apprenticeships, training and employment opportunities in both the construction and operational stages of the company's development.
11 local apprentices worked on the construction site and through Jobcentre Plus, 24 unemployed people were offered training opportunities, six of whom have gone on to secure permanent with the company in highly skilled positions.
During training, Vivergo's plant operators have had access to state of the art simulation facilities to give them a 'hands on' experience prior to operations.
Commissioning commenced at Vivergo's world scale biorefinery. Commissioning activity involved testing all parts of the plant to ensure that they work safely and effectively.
The plant includes: • 25,000 cubic metres of concrete (equivalent of 25,000,000 litres) • Over 4,500 piles • 280,000 metres of electrical cabling (equivalent of 174 miles) • 224,000 metres of instrumental cabling (equivalent of 139 miles) • 67,000 metres of pipework (equivalent of 42 miles) • 6,000 sensors to report back to the control centre.
Construction at the Vivergo site is in the final stages and commissioning has started in some of areas of the plant.
As part of the commissioning activity, the very first wheat was delivered to the plant. This represents a landmark milestone for farmers in Frontier's Humber Gold club.
The plant uses 1.1 million tones of feed wheat on an annual basis, which produces 420 million litres of bioethanol – representing around a third of the UK's 2012/13 requirements under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO). Our bioethanol will offer GreenHouse Gas (GHG) savings in excess of 50% over standard petrol, the equivalent of removing over 180,000 cars from the road!
The process at our plant converts 1.1 million tonnes of feed wheat into bioethanol and 500,000 tonnes of protein rich animal feed – in essence giving half the volume back to UK farmers in a more efficient and useable form.
Our animal feed will provide the protein requirement for 340,000 dairy cows each day, representing almost 20% of the UK dairy herd.
The animal feed products offered by Vivergo will benefit domestic farms by providing a consistent and easily accessible source as well as reducing their dependency on imported protein sources, which currently account for up to 80% of the requirement.
The plant was officially opened on July 8th 2013, by the Rt. Honourable Vince Cable.
The opening saw over 500 people involved in the variety of opening events, including the hosting of a Bondholder Breakfast based around the companies’ impact to the region.
The Official Opening celebrated the initial operation of the business, and that production will continue to ramp up over the coming months.