The Ensus wheat-to-bioethanol plant at Wilton on Teesside is to resume operations for a trial period “starting in July 2016 at the latest,” says its parent company CropEnergies, a division of the German multinational crop processor Sudzucker. The plant last ran in February 2015, since when it has been closed for a temporary period.
In the interim, the plant has had “numerous technical modifications” to improve its reliability and energy efficiency. These now need to be fully tested in a trial run.
CropEnergies, which has bioethanol plants in Germany, Belgium and France as well as Ensus in the UK, made a profit of €87 million in the year ended February 29th 2016, compared to a loss of €11m in the previous year. This is attributed to a recovery in ethanol sales revenues and lower net raw material costs, plus cost savings from the Ensus shutdown.
But revenues dropped to €658m from €764m in line with lower production and sales volumes of ethanol, food CO2 and animal feed, due to the closure of the Ensus plant and a maintenance shutdown at its Belgian facility. The company predicts revenues in the range of €550m -€625m for the current year.
The Sudzucker group saw operating profit increase to €241m on revenues 6% down to €6.4 billion in the year to February 2016, compared to €181m and €6.8bn in the previous year, with the CropEnergies recovery helping to offset declining results from Sugar, the Group’s biggest division.