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BP, DuPont and Associated British Foods announce plan to build $400 million biofuel plant in U.K.


Associated British Foods (ABF) announced on Tuesday plans to build a $400 million biofuel plant at Hull, northern England with partners BP PLC and DuPont as the global trend of biofuel plant construction continues.

ABF and BP will each hold 45% stakes while DuPont will take on the outstanding 10%.

The plant will initially produce bioethanol fuel from wheat and will be built at BP's chemicals site in Saltend, Hull. The plant will have an annual production capacity of 420 million litres (111 million gallons) accoding to officials.

Although being built from the ground up, the plant will have access to the existing infrasturcture at the site for essential support services, BP noted.

ABF, the U.k.'s leading grain marketer, will provide the wheat for the venture.

Also, Dupont and BP are contributing $18 million each to build a biobutanol demonstration and research facility at the Hull location. Biobutanol is more similar to gasoline then ethanol in that it can work with some unmodified vehicle engines.

Like the bioethanol plant, the biobutanol facility will initially use wheat to produce fuel. However, corn, rye and barley will also be looked at as potential feed stock sources.

Construction of the biobutanol facility is scheduled to begin in April of 2008. The plant could come on line sometime in early 2009. Meanwhile, the ethanol facility is scheduled to begin operations by late 2009.

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