BP has sold its 47 per cent stake in Vivergo Fuels, which has developed a world-scale, wheat-fed bioethanol plant in Hull, to Associated British Foods.
The deal means ABF will become the majority shareholder in Vivergo with a 94 per cent stake.
Mark Chesworth, managing director of Vivergo, said: “We are extremely appreciative of the support and commitment shown to the Vivergo business and team from BP over the past nine years.
“With our shareholder’s support, we’ve steadily ramped up production and are now operating at full capacity, producing enough bioethanol to meet around half of the UK’s current demand as well as a protein rich animal feed for approximately 20 per cent of UK dairy cows.“
Vivergo said its development is delivering huge environmental benefits, with its bioethanol offering greenhouse gas savings that are the equivalent to taking 180,000 cars off the road
“We’re also making a significant contribution to the local and national economy. We’ve already created 2,400 jobs directly and indirectly through our operations, many of which are in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire,” said Mr Chesworth.
Vivergo was formed in 2007 as a joint venture between ABF and BP, which had equal shares, and DuPont, to develop a world-scale wheat-fed, bioethanol plant at Saltend, Hull.
It achieved its designed daily production capacity in 2014 and directly employs over 100 people.
Operating at full production, the plant takes 1.1m tonnes of locally sourced animal feed grade wheat to produce 420m litres of bioethanol and up to 500,000 tonnes of protein rich animal feed for UK livestock, per year.
Mark Carr, of AB Sugar, said: “I am delighted that we have increased our shareholding in this well invested, cost competitive biofuels plant.
“We believe it has an attractive medium term outlook, as EU Member States develop their trajectories for renewable fuels inclusion in transport fuels to meet their obligation of 10 per cent by 2020. It is in this context that we are excited at the prospect of working even more closely with the Vivergo team and in driving this business forward.”