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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 March 2006, 10:16 GMT
UK's first bioethanol pump opens
Saab Biopower
E85 can only be used by specially modified cars
The supermarket chain Morrisons is to open the first E85 pump in the UK, delivering a mixture of 85% bioethanol and 15% petrol.

Fuel from the pump, at Morrisons' forecourt at Albion Way in Norwich, can be used by specially modified cars manufactured by Ford and Saab.

Bioethanol can be made from sugar beet, grain and other agricultural produce.

"Biofuels can play a crucial role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions from cars," said Saab UK boss Jonathan Nash.

"Today's opening sends an important message to both businesses and consumers that retailers and manufacturers are taking the carbon challenge seriously," said Tim Curtis, director of operations at the Energy Saving Trust.

The trust is a not-for-profit organisation funded by the Department for Transport, Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly government.

Rural jobs

Following Wednesday's opening in Norwich, four other forecourts in the region and five in Somerset will soon follow suit.

"Creating demand for this product will, in the medium to long term, present major opportunities for UK farmers," said Morrisons petrol director Phil Maud.

In January, work started on what is set to become the UK's first bioethanol production facility.

The 20m plant at Wissington, Downham Market in Norfolk, aims to produce 70 million litres of biofuel per year from sugar beet grown by farmers in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.

"Projects of this type can receive grant support... providing further incentives for industry to develop alternative refuelling options to deliver a more sustainable transport future," Mr Curtis said.

"This market has the opportunity to create and secure up to 10,000 jobs in agriculture and fuel production in the UK," added James Beal, managing director of Renewables East.

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