Bioethanol maker Ensus UK has revealed plans to invest around £90m into its Teesside operations.
The Wilton International firm’s German parent company – CropEnergies AG – will invest in a series of projects at the Redcar site – the largest of which will be the creation of a new high protein animal feed manufacturing unit. Smaller sums will be spent on upgrades to improve plant reliability and energy efficiency.
No new jobs are expected to be created in the moves, but the firm indicated Ensus UK’s 100-strong workforce will be sustained by the plans. The plant is one of Europe’s largest production sites for bioenthanol – a road fuel – which has two key by-products in enriched animal feed and biogenic CO2 used by the food and drink industry.
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Between £60m to £70m will be spent on the new animal feed facility which could start production in 2025. It will allow the firm to produce EnPro, a high-protein product aimed at UK and European aquafeed and pet food markets.
Ensus said it builds on its position as the UK’s largest producer of protein animal feed to farmers. The Redcar plant currently produces about 350,000 tonnes per year of protein enriched dried distillers’ grains with solubles, aimed at the UK cattle and pig farming industry.
Other projects will see the firm replace one of its feed driers at the plant and upgrade a second. And the installation of a mechanical vapour recompression unit is also designed to reduce CO2 emissions.
Grant Pearson, chairman of Ensus UK, said: “These major investments are a significant sign of CropEnergies’ commitment to Ensus and the bioethanol business within the UK and Europe. The further development of our protein product range is particularly important.
“By taking feed grains primarily used to feed cattle and turning them into higher protein feeds with wider feedstuff applications, we are not only diversifying our product range and overall sustainability but also helping to address the UK’s protein shortage. The investments are also a recognition by our parent company of the hard work, loyalty and dedication of the team at Wilton over the last 15 years.”
Dr Stephan Meeder, CEO and CFO of CropEnergies AG, said: “EnPro is a product which fits perfectly into CropEnergies’ dedication to a circular economy. We utilize all of our raw materials and refine them into products which benefit the markets in which we operate.
“We look forward to Ensus adding another high-quality protein feed to our portfolio. The investments will also enhance Ensus’ overall competitiveness, profitability and strengthen its position on the European ethanol and protein markets.”
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