Sugar firm to make 'green' fuel

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The Independent Online

Associated British Foods is to announce a plan this week to use part of its sugar production as an environmentally friendly additive to petrol.

Associated British Foods is to announce a plan this week to use part of its sugar production as an environmentally friendly additive to petrol.

The ABF subsidiary British Sugar has submitted a planning application to use part of its site near King's Lynn in Norfolk to turn sugar beet into bioethanol, a form of industrial alcohol. It is proposing to make 55,000 tons of the substance, which when added to standard petrol can save up to 70 per cent in carbon emissions.

Tesco adds 5 per cent of bioethanol to unleaded petrol but imports the additive from Brazil. The EU Biofuels Directive states that by 2010, 5.75 per cent of petrol should be made up of biofuel. British Sugar estimates that one million tons of bioethanol would be needed for the UK. The proposed plant only represents about 5 per cent of Britain's bioethanol needs, British Sugar says. The additive is used without any modification to cars and does not impair performance. Bioethanol can also be made from cereal feedstock.

This week the company is to join forces with Ford, Saab, the Transport & General Workers' Union, Friends of the Earth and a number of universities to urge the Government to support the initiative.

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