It’s a bad time for the bioenergies companies in UK. Due to the difficult market conditions, CropEnergies will pause production in its plant in Wilton, North East England, operated by Ensus from the end of November 2018 on.
At the end of October, the German company based in Mannheim adjusted its outlook for the current financial year 2018/19 due to ethanol prices – both spot and forward prices – which have significantly fallen contrary to all expectations. CropEnergies is now expecting an operating result between €15 and €35 (previously expected: €25 to €55) million. This corresponds to an EBITDA of €55 to €75 (previously expected: EUR 65 to EUR 95) million. This implies expected revenues of €750 to €780 (previously expected: €810 to €860) million.
This announcement is yet another blow for the UK bioenergy industry, which has already been hit by the Vivergo closure. “I am extremely disappointed – Mark Chesworth, Managing Director, Vivergo Fuels Ltd, commented last September – at having to announce the proposed cessation of production as of the 30 September 2018 at the Vivergo Fuels plant. We have created a highly skilled and world-class business that had the opportunity to be part of a British sustainable biofuels industry. But sadly, the Government’s lack of pace over the past decade to introduce E10 has further undermined our ability to operate.”
Founded in Mannheim, Germany, in 2006, CropEnergies is a young and dynamically growing member of the Südzucker Group and one of the leading European manufacturers of sustainably produced bioethanol for the fuel sector today. With its four modern production facilities in Germany, Belgium, the UK and France as well as trading offices in Brazil, Chile and the USA, CropEnergies produces approximately 1.3 million cubic meters of bioethanol per year. They mainly replace petrol and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 70%. This makes CropEnergies one of the leading companies in a major emerging market.
Ensus produces enough biofuel to meet one third of the UK’s bioethanol demand under the UK’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), and generates carbon savings equivalent to taking 300,000 cars off the road. The RTFO requires that a proportion of all transport fuel sold in the UK should come from renewable sources in order to combat global warming.