Vireol, Remember Them?

07/06/12 -- Today's interesting "must read" comes from the Farmer's Weekly here: UK's third major bioethanol plant a step closer.

The story concerns the development of Vireol, which apparently should have the finance it needs in place to press on with the project by October. After that some basic site preparation can begin, they say.

Reading that I thought to myself, I really am going senile because I could swear that I'd ready ages ago that finance was already in place and that construction had already started. I'm not far off, a quick Google reveals a report on Future Capital Partners (the people behind the project) own website dated March 2010 that they were then "in the final stages of completing the financing" and that they were "set to break ground" in July 2010.

Commissioning is expected to start around harvest 2014 before production is really cranked up in spring 2015, if everything goes to plan this time, they say.

If you're a livestock farmer who still expects to be in the industry in 2015, don't panic. Without going into any specifics, the UK is more than capable of producing 20 MMT of wheat (don't grow any barley, just plant wheat maybe?) so there'll still be plenty to go round, feed all the bioethanol plants and still export the usual 2-3 MMT, we are assured.

Phew, that's a relief. It's a win-win all round situation. With all the extra DDGS on the market, and all this surplus wheat that we'll have sloshing around, the bioethanol industry is actually the livestock farmers friend. For one minute there I was completely getting the wrong end of the stick.

"What's for tea tonight, Mum? Argh, not DDGS and chips again, we had that last night and the night before. No, I haven't seen the price of mince. Come to think of it I haven't seen any mince since Christmas Day. Oh for mince with all the trimmings, bliss...."