UK Business Secretary Greg Clark published last Monday the UK government’s modern Industrial Strategy, with a plan to boost productivity and the earning power of people and businesses throughout Northern Ireland and the whole of the UK. But Vivergo Fuels, the UK’s largest producer of bioethanol doesn’t like this strategy.
The White Paper outlines a plan to drive growth across the whole of the UK, build on the strengths of places, boost skills, improve productivity, boost people’s earning power and upgrade infrastructure.
The Strategy includes flagship Sector Deal agreements with a number of Northern Ireland’s most important sectors – automotive, construction, Life Sciences and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
“The Government’s Industrial Strategy – Mark Chesworth, Managing Director, Vivergo Fuels said – claims to champion British industry across the regions, job creation and the green economy. But, coinciding with the release of this white paper, a flagship Northern Powerhouse partner which has invested £400m in the North East of England has ceased production at its bioethanol plant due to legislative uncertainty and Government failure to commit to moving ahead with legislation which is already years behind schedule. For many years, Vivergo Fuels and the wider industry have voiced concerns about the Government’s lack of genuine commitment to reducing transport emissions in the UK, and their neglect of the most immediate solutions to this increasingly harmful problem. With this continued uncertainty, thousands of jobs, hundreds of farms and millions of pounds of investment is put at risk – precisely the opposite of what the Industrial Strategy seeks to achieve”.
“We are calling on the Government – Chesworth added – to press ahead with legislation and to introduce E10, a more environmentally friendly fuel of 10% renewable ethanol blended with petrol which offers significant transport emissions savings and is the simplest, most readily available and cost effective way to address carbon emissions and pollution from transport immediately.”