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Vivergo Fuels closing for good with the loss of 150 jobs
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Mark



Joined: 13 Dec 2007
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Location: NW England

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:16 pm    Post subject: Vivergo Fuels closing for good with the loss of 150 jobs Reply with quote

Massive blow for the UK Biofuels industry:
https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/business/vivergo-fuels-closing-good-loss-1977191
https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/business/vivergo-md-says-150-hull-950481

Big part of the closure due to HMG not backing E10 (10% of fuel being sourced from Bio sources).
High Wheat prices also a factor due to a poor harvest / low yield.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sorry that a company such as this has gone broke. We need food, medium/long term, not vehicle fuel.
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Mark



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They were using ‘feed’ grade wheat which is most commonly used to feed animals. This is different to ‘milling’ wheat which is used in bread making etc.. Feed grade wheat is ideal for fermentation due to its high starch content. 60% of the wheat they processed was used to produce Bioethanol. The remaining 40% was protein and that was converted into animal feed. The wheat is/was grown around the Vivergo plant. On average the UK produces approximately 14 – 16 million tonnes of wheat per annum of which up to 2.5-3MT is exported. Vivergo used of some of the surplus which then went back to UK agriculture in a form of protein appropriate to the needs of farmers. Prior to Vivergo more protein was being imported.

Difficult arguments, but on balance I think it's a shame that they've gone....
We'll still need fuel for cars and we'll still need to feed the cows tomorrow....
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We might "need" cars and we might "need" tractor fuel to power tractors to produce grain to fuel cars and tractors!! What we really need is a bit of thought about what we really "need" in the Zero Carbon future.

We won't need as much meat in the future either and that land used to produce fuel to drive the tractors to produce fuel for the tractors would be better used producing fuel for people in the form of vegetables or other, less fuel intensive, biofuels to heat homes or even left fallow to gives homes to other creatures.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that whilst the diversion of feed grain into vehicle fuel is less bad than use of milling wheat, it is still best avoided.

Wind turbines are a better way of fuelling cars in my view, and with the very small footprint of wind turbines the land between them can be used for growing human food or for grazing livestock.
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be better to feed the animals on grass. That would produce meat more digestable for humans, and at a much lower eroei.

A problem with intensive production is the rise of antibiotic resistant organisms.

Quote:
Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) routinely use antibiotics to speed growth and counteract poor hygiene and crowded conditions. In 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned antibiotics for the express purpose of growth promotion.16 However, few changes have resulted as antibiotics are still used prophylactically to prevent disease in animals raised in confinement.17

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 400,000 Americans get sick from antibiotic-resistant foodborne bacteria every year, stating,18 “Antibiotic use in food animals allows antibiotic-resistant bacteria to grow and crowd out the bacteria that do respond to antibiotics.”

A report by consumer advocacy group Food and Water Watch19 noted nearly 22 percent of annual antibiotic-resistant infections in the U.S. originate from foodborne pathogens. They explain these bacteria spread from farm animals to humans through food and contaminated waste used in fertilizer or entering waterways. Increasingly, these bacteria show the potential to affect anyone.


For more see here
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Mark



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
We might "need" cars and we might "need" tractor fuel to power tractors to produce grain to fuel cars and tractors!! What we really need is a bit of thought about what we really "need" in the Zero Carbon future.

We won't need as much meat in the future either and that land used to produce fuel to drive the tractors to produce fuel for the tractors would be better used producing fuel for people in the form of vegetables or other, less fuel intensive, biofuels to heat homes or even left fallow to gives homes to other creatures.


I agree...., in an ideal world...., but unfortunately we don't live in one of those....
I don't see any evidence that we won't need as much meat (& milk/cheese/yoghurt) in the future, especially with global population growth as it is....
It would be lovely to leave more land fallow, but unfortunately I can't see that either.....
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Farming Online

Quote:
Vivergo closure is lesson in risk management
14 Sep 2018


News that Vivergo, the Hull-based ethanol producer, will close permanently at the end of the month is distressing, but it holds lessons for us all. At roughly 1.1 million tonnes of wheat annually, it was an important customer of UK agriculture and played a vital role in supporting the domestic price of feed wheat. Spot prices in the region fell immediately on the news, closing £5-7/tonne down on the day.

The uncomfortable lesson of this sorry situation is, however, that as markets change variety choice becomes the first means of risk management.Farmers should ask themselves if are they spreading their risk effectively when making variety choices.

“At roughly 8% of UK wheat production, Vivergo played a pivotal role in supporting the livelihoods of arable farmers, principally those across the north-east, but also further afield. The impact of its closure will be felt for several years,” says Andrew Newby, KWS UK managing director.

Central to how farmer’s recover from this loss of market will be variety choice, says Mr Newby, as what is sown this autumn will largely determine income levels next year when it will likely be sold. He believes the loss of such a big domestic consumer should encourage all those in the grain trade to re-evaluate the variety advice given to farmers.

“The loss of Vivergo should serve to encourage everyone from the grain trade to farmer groups and farmers themselves, to re-evaluate how we approach end-use markets. Over the past few years the UK has produced more of the type of wheat our domestic and export markets demand, but I fear that we are heading back to the days of wall-to-wall feed wheat for which there is static domestic demand and little export demand and, consequently, little value,” explains Mr Newby.

“While our future trading relationship with Europe is still undecided, we cannot afford to overlook the importance of exports since the UK still produces a significant exportable surplus. Low protein (c. 11.5%) quality wheats of the Group 2 sector and the biscuit wheats of the Group 3 category that hold the greatest appeal to foreign buyers, because they’re either a straight fit with their systems (Group 2 wheats) or because they cannot be found elsewhere (Group 3 wheats). These types represent the lowest market risk of all wheats,” he adds.

While varieties from these market groups hold the greatest appeal to exporters, the introduction of new types with high yield potential over the past few years means they are as competitive with feed wheats (for yield).

“The beauty of varieties such as KWS Siskin and KWS Barrel is that they yield close to that of KWS Kerrin so while they may be quality wheats, even if they are grown as feed the gross margin is largely the same. But crucially, as quality wheats they will attract a price premium over feed meaning the financial returns are often better,” says Mr Newby.

“Markets can and do change and growers need to think dynamically about variety choice if they are to retain options in the future. Having a variety that fits more than one outlet will be instrumental to farm incomes in the years after Brexit so now is a good time to start considering variety choice based on what markets they offer,” he says.

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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
.........I don't see any evidence that we won't need as much meat (& milk/cheese/yoghurt) in the future, especially with global population growth as it is....
It would be lovely to leave more land fallow, but unfortunately I can't see that either.....


Given that we eat far too much meat at the moment for a healthy diet we could reduce, and will probably have to reduce, the amount that we eat in future as it is likely to become more expensive if nothing else. The grain fed animals such as chicken and pork especially will be more expensive as fuel cost rise with lower EROEI oil becoming a larger proportion of the supply.

The desire of the Third World and China to emulate our diet will be thwarted by Peak Cheap Oil and economic collapse so I don't see meat production being increased significantly anywhere in future.
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Mark



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
From Farming Online

Quote:
Vivergo closure is lesson in risk management
14 Sep 2018


News that Vivergo, the Hull-based ethanol producer, will close permanently at the end of the month is distressing, but it holds lessons for us all. At roughly 1.1 million tonnes of wheat annually, it was an important customer of UK agriculture and played a vital role in supporting the domestic price of feed wheat. Spot prices in the region fell immediately on the news, closing £5-7/tonne down on the day.

The uncomfortable lesson of this sorry situation is, however, that as markets change variety choice becomes the first means of risk management.Farmers should ask themselves if are they spreading their risk effectively when making variety choices.

“At roughly 8% of UK wheat production, Vivergo played a pivotal role in supporting the livelihoods of arable farmers, principally those across the north-east, but also further afield. The impact of its closure will be felt for several years,” says Andrew Newby, KWS UK managing director.

Central to how farmer’s recover from this loss of market will be variety choice, says Mr Newby, as what is sown this autumn will largely determine income levels next year when it will likely be sold. He believes the loss of such a big domestic consumer should encourage all those in the grain trade to re-evaluate the variety advice given to farmers.

“The loss of Vivergo should serve to encourage everyone from the grain trade to farmer groups and farmers themselves, to re-evaluate how we approach end-use markets. Over the past few years the UK has produced more of the type of wheat our domestic and export markets demand, but I fear that we are heading back to the days of wall-to-wall feed wheat for which there is static domestic demand and little export demand and, consequently, little value,” explains Mr Newby.

“While our future trading relationship with Europe is still undecided, we cannot afford to overlook the importance of exports since the UK still produces a significant exportable surplus. Low protein (c. 11.5%) quality wheats of the Group 2 sector and the biscuit wheats of the Group 3 category that hold the greatest appeal to foreign buyers, because they’re either a straight fit with their systems (Group 2 wheats) or because they cannot be found elsewhere (Group 3 wheats). These types represent the lowest market risk of all wheats,” he adds.

While varieties from these market groups hold the greatest appeal to exporters, the introduction of new types with high yield potential over the past few years means they are as competitive with feed wheats (for yield).

“The beauty of varieties such as KWS Siskin and KWS Barrel is that they yield close to that of KWS Kerrin so while they may be quality wheats, even if they are grown as feed the gross margin is largely the same. But crucially, as quality wheats they will attract a price premium over feed meaning the financial returns are often better,” says Mr Newby.

“Markets can and do change and growers need to think dynamically about variety choice if they are to retain options in the future. Having a variety that fits more than one outlet will be instrumental to farm incomes in the years after Brexit so now is a good time to start considering variety choice based on what markets they offer,” he says.


So, they recommend farmers to grow a better grade of wheat and export more.....
Whilst the Vivergo closure means less domestic biofuel (more petrol imports) and less animal protein (more imports)....., it's complicated...
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Potemkin Villager



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot imagine the EROEI of alcohol fuel makes much sense. First all the oil energy input to intensive growing and harvesting. Then the energy inputs into fermentation and distillation. So yes I would think EVs make a lot more sense than biofuelling ICEs.

As to exporting wheat, can anybody explain why a country that cannot feed itself has to export food? If there is an excess of wheat production the logical thing to do would be to grow something else for which there is a demand.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Potemkin Villager wrote:
I cannot imagine the EROEI of alcohol fuel makes much sense. First all the oil energy input to intensive growing and harvesting. Then the energy inputs into fermentation and distillation. So yes I would think EVs make a lot more sense than biofuelling ICEs.

As to exporting wheat, can anybody explain why a country that cannot feed itself has to export food? If there is an excess of wheat production the logical thing to do would be to grow something else for which there is a demand.


The EROEI of alcohol fuel is indeed very doubtful, it has been described as greenwash or as agricultural subsidy rather than as a sensible means of procuring motor fuel.
EVs charged from wind or other renewables make more sense.

As regards wheat exports, that is how a free market works, If UK wheat is cheaper in say Germany, then Germany will import it, and we will use the money to pay for imports of other goods.
As fuel costs rise, long distance road transport of food will likely decline. Rail or sea transport is more economical in fuel use and will probably continue for decades yet.
In time of war or other emergency, food exports could be prohibited, but I see no need for any such prohibition whilst times are normal.
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Mark



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
The EROEI of alcohol fuel is indeed very doubtful, it has been described as greenwash or as agricultural subsidy rather than as a sensible means of procuring motor fuel.


Likely one of the reasons why HMG didn't support E10 ?
However, there is lots of potential to move from 1st to 4th generation Biofuels....
http://energyfromwasteandwood.weebly.com/generations-of-biofuels.html
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Mark



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
EVs charged from wind or other renewables make more sense.


Totally agree......, but we're still a fairly long way from that.....
In the meantime....??
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Potemkin Villager wrote:
......As to exporting wheat, can anybody explain why a country that cannot feed itself has to export food? If there is an excess of wheat production the logical thing to do would be to grow something else for which there is a demand.


We grow what suits our climate best so that we can be as efficient as possible. The cheap cost of FF means that the import and export of bulk products is comparatively cheap. Some of the food that we import could be grown under glass and other food with heat but the current cheap cost of transport means that it is cheaper to import. It doesn't seem to be worthwhile to use waste heat from power stations either which seem sacrilegious to an environmentalist like me.

In future it may well be more cost efficient as well as energy efficient to grow more stuff in the UK the labour to do it as other FF based jobs become redundant.
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