A wheat wagon waits to unload outside the massive storage silos at Ensus
Teesside's new Ensus biofuels plant is bringing a much-needed jobs boost to our region.
The Wilton-based plant makes bioethanol, which is used to make "greener" types of vehicle fuel.
More than 100 jobs have been created at the plant, while its supply chain supports a further 2000.
Chief executive Alwyn Hughes said: "We're delighted to be up and running here on Teesside."
Workers at the plant recently waved their first shipment of biofuel out of Seal Sands, at Hartlepool.
It was bound for oil giant Shell, one of Ensus's major business partners.
The law says that vehicle fuel must be made up partly from renewable sources, with that proportion set to increase to five per cent.
Ensus also makes high-protein animal feed, and sells one of its by-products, carbon dioxide, to the drinks industry.
The plant was built after chief executive Alwyn Hughes, a former ICI worker, raised more than £300m from investors.
Mr Hughes said: "Raising that money was a huge challenge.
"But all these things are about teams of people coming together with a shared passion and a shared vision.
"It is a testament to the sort of skills we have in this area that we were able to pull such a team together and achieve what we have."
A biofuel is any fuel made from a living thing or its waste
Biofuels were pioneered as long ago as the days of Henry Ford
Brazil is the world's biggest user and producer
One of the workers at Ensus is Michael Downs.
Michael, along with ten colleagues, joined the firm from a neighbouring nylon plant, which was on the verge of going out of business and has since folded.
He said: "I was lucky, the job here came along at just the right time. I'm really enjoying it, we've been working hard and everyone has pulled together to get that first shipment away.
"Now that ship has gone we've passed the first milestone. We're looking forward to increasing production and hopefully we'll be hitting top rates soon."