Ensus UK Ltd. can today (25th July 2023) announce that its parent company plans to invest around £90 million in a series of major projects at its biorefinery on Teesside.

The projects will see production of a new high protein feed at the plant and improve the overall operational reliability and energy efficiency of all plant operations.

The major part of the investment will be the construction of a new £60 to £70 million unit to produce high protein animal feed at the Wilton International plant. Commissioning is scheduled for 2025. This will enable Ensus – owned by the German biofuels manufacturer CropEnergies AG – to produce EnPro, a high-protein product aimed at UK and European aquafeed and pet food markets.

For more than a decade, as well as producing renewable ethanol as a road fuel and being the UK’s main supplier of biogenic CO2, Ensus has been the UK’s largest producer of protein animal feed to the farming industry. The plant currently produces 350,000 tonnes a year of protein enriched dried distillers’ grains with solubles (DDGS) primarily for UK cattle and pig farmers.

In a separate investment aimed at improving plant reliability, Ensus is planning to replace one of its feed driers at the plant and upgrade a second. A further investment in a project to install a mechanical vapour recompression unit will also bring about significant reductions of CO2 emissions.

The total sum invested will be around £90 million by 2025.

Grant Pearson, Chairman of Ensus UK, said: “These major investments are a significant sign of CropEnergies’ commitment to Ensus and the bioethanol business within the UK and Europe.”

“The further development of our protein product range is particularly important. By taking feed grains primarily used to feed cattle and turning them into higher protein feeds with wider feedstuff applications, we are not only diversifying our product range and overall sustainability but also helping to address the UK’s protein shortage.”

“The investments are also a recognition by our parent company of the hard work, loyalty and dedication of the team at Wilton over the last 15 years.”

Dr Stephan Meeder, CEO and CFO of CropEnergies AG, said: “EnPro is a product which fits perfectly into CropEnergies’ dedication to a circular economy. We utilize all of our raw materials and refine them into products which benefit the markets in which we operate.”

“We look forward to Ensus adding another high-quality protein feed to our portfolio. The investments will also enhance Ensus’ overall competitiveness, profitability and strengthen its position on the European ethanol and protein markets.”

Ensus will partner with U.S. based technology provider Fluid Quip Technologies (FQT), Cedar Rapids, USA, for the design and process engineering of the patented and proven MSC™ protein separation technology, which will be used to produce EnPro. Northallerton-based engineering and professional services company WSP will carry out the balance of engineering design as well as manage the construction of the new facility.

Neal Jakel, President of Fluid Quip Technologies, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for FQT and Ensus to work together in producing high-value protein products, that have shown significant value in growth markets. The MSC protein technology is currently operating at nine facilities in the U.S. and we are excited to partner with Ensus on FQT’s first UK installation.”