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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 October, 2004, 05:51 GMT 06:51 UK
Biodiesel fuel plant opens
Cooking oil fuel graphic
Cooking oil can be used to fuel a car - but only if you pay tax
A plant which can convert vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel is opening in west Wales later.

Sundance Renewables, a co-operative in Ammanford, will produce over 300,000 litres of the "green" fuel a year.

Edwina Hart, the assembly's social justice and regeneration minister, will open the plant.

It is hoped the facility will act as a model for communities across Wales wishing to help the environment by producing their own biodiesel.

The company says it is the first community-based plant in the UK to produce the fuel.

Project manager Jan Cliff explained the idea had come about because the company had wanted to buy renewable fuel for its vehicles but was unable to get any.

By collecting used vegetable oil we are taking it out of the waste stream, where it blocks drains and pollutes streams and turning it into a fantastic fuel
Jules Davies, Sundance Renewables

"We have developed this plant, producing over 300,000 litres per year as a model for communities wishing to produce their own biodiesel across Wales."

The company has registered as a waste carrier and is allowed to collect used vegetable oil from pubs, restaurants, schools and other sources

"This is a great opportunity for people to help the environment," said Jules Davies, the company's oil collection manager.

"By collecting used vegetable oil, we are taking it out of the waste stream, where it blocks drains and pollutes streams and turning it into a fantastic fuel."

The company is looking for volunteer drivers to help collect the oil at present, but said it could lead to paid employment in the future.

It will give prospective customers the opportunity to register as preferred customers, to ensure them a guaranteed supply of the fuel.

The company also runs training courses for people who want to set up their own biodiesel plant.

Sell-out

It is not the first time people in the area have been turned on to the benefits of vegetable-based fuels.

In October 2002, police in Llanelli took action against five motorists caught using cooking oil without paying fuel tax on it in a clampdown in the area.

And staff at the Asda supermarket in Swansea reported shelves at the store regularly being stripped of cooking oil.

Sales had jumped more than 250% and the store had struggled to keep up with demand.




SEE ALSO:
Green fuels set for breakthrough
13 Jul 04  |  Business
Ministers back biodiesel plant
25 Mar 04  |  Scotland
Buses go green with biodiesel
14 Mar 03  |  England


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