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|Any shareholders received a letter from BDO concerning the Voluntary Liquidation of Earls Nook Limited.
|Biofuel review deal goes to FiveBarGate
Sep 16 2010 Evening Gazette
A STOCKTON firm has clinched a top Government contract to review the impact of biofuels laws on UK industry.
Biofuels consultants FiveBarGate will gather vital data on the effects of the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) - the rate at which biofuels have to enter the UK's fuel stream.
The work, commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Agency (RFA), the organisation charged by the Government with running the RTFO, will be key to its annual report to Parliament in January - and could help shape Government policy on the developing sector.
Teesside's ailing biofuels industry was given a boost in July, when fuel distributor Harvest Energy took over operation of the former Biofuels Corporation plant at Seal Sands. Biofuels ceased production in November, shedding 38 staff.
FiveBarGate chief executive Ian Waller said: "We want to understand the impact of regulation of biofuels through market research, analysis and number crunching with stakeholders right through the supply chain, including companies on Teesside from Simon Storage, Harvest Energy to Ensus."
The RFA's Aaron Berry said: "FiveBarGate will get under the skin of the industry to enable us to understand what the RTFO is costing, and where it is adding value to the industry."|
|Expired. Bereft of life. Kicked the bucket.
This is an ex-biofuels company!!!|
|Biofuels Corporation chief hopeful about future
Jan 8 2010 Evening Gazette
THE chief executive of Teesside's biodiesel refinery says he remains optimistic about the company's future - but criticised weak Government policy for "catastrophically" affecting the industry.
Uncertainty has shrouded the fate of Biofuels Corporation, which operates one of the world's largest biodiesel refineries at Seal Sands, since November when the company shed its 38 staff and the company ceased trading.
CEO Richard Nickels said the plant never properly recovered from unfair competition thrust upon the industry from US government subsidised biodiesel that was dumped into Europe.
UK bosses won their battle against the Americans over the so-called "splash and dash" policy that had depressed prices.
EU regulators slapped heavy tariffs on US biodiesel imports - but European biodiesel output has struggled to recover.
"The fact that it took two years and millions of pounds to persuade the Government to stop the practice was financially exhausting and diverted capital and attention away from the real business of making high specification biodiesel," said Mr Nickels.
"We need green industries, not only for jobs on Teesside, but for all our sustainable futures.
"The biofuels industry never asked the Government for money, merely a level playing field in which to compete on equal terms with other global producers.
"This has not happened yet."
Mr Nickels added that the plant had shut down, the company had been placed under a creditor voluntary arrangement and bosses are working hard to secure a positive outcome.
"We are operating within the rules of creditor protection, Biofuels Corporation still exists, but we are going through this process and it's happening very slowly," he said.
"I am disappointed for both our suppliers and staff, but remain quite optimistic.
"I would like to think there's a future for biofuels at Seal Sands, that is certainly what we are all aiming for.
"We are all working hard to resolve the financial situation."
Biofuels Corporation opened in 2005.
It became 100% owned by Barclays in a debt-for-equity swap in 2007.|
|Are the value of these shares offset-able against Capital Gains by registering them as a loss - if so in what tax year will this apply?|
|Nov 25 2009 by Karen McLauchlan, Evening Gazette:
Biofuels Corporation: The future of Teesside's only biodiesel refinery is unclear after it shed most of its staff.
Nov 27 2009 Evening Gazette:
Last week Biofuels Corporation at Seal Sands - one of the companies hailed as successors to the Tees Valley's traditional petrochemical industries - shed most of its staff.
Heavy regulation, inequalities such have all been blamed for problems faced by the industry in the UK.|
|No, but mine were held in a nominee account.|
|As anybody received a letter from BDO chartered accountants concerning a shareholders meeting to be held at the offices of BDO Stoy Hayward,1 Bridgewater Place, Water Lane, Leeds LS11 5RU on the 23rd Oct 2009 @ 10am for the purposes of having an account laid before the meeting and to receive the Liquidators' report showing how the winding-up of the Company has been conducted, and of hearing any explanation that might be given by the Liquidators.|
|Sep 1 2009 The Journal.
THE boss of one of Europe's largest biofuel plants says he is still confident it can become a successful venture after a torrid few years which saw it taken over by its bankers after running up debts over £100m.
The Biofuels Corporation of Seal Sands, on Teesside, was opened by Tony Blair in a blaze of glory in 2006 and heralded as the shining light of a low-carbon future.
But one year later it had racked up debts of over £100m and was taken over by its banker Barclays.
It is now operating at "well under half" of its capacity and is concentrating its efforts on refining low-cost used cooking oils to ensure it makes money, having cut its workforce from 50 to 35.
Chief executive Sean Sutcliffe says the company has recently been hampered by changes to legislation, but says it is now well-placed for a successful future.
"We are currently focusing on making high-quality biodiesel for the UK market using low-cost, used cooking oils from across the UK and Europe.
"Our problems were exacerbated by changes to the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation following the Gallagher Review last year.
"We are currently operating at well under half of our existing capacity.
"But as the amount of biofuel that has to be used in a fuel increases over the coming years we will be increasing our production.
"We are a good business with a solid future, making good quality, environmentally friendly fuel."
In April 2008, the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation was introduced, requiring all petrol and diesel sold in the UK to contain at least 2.5% biofuel.
But the Gallagher Review proposed the rate of increase of the percentage of biofuel used should be slowed due to negative effect planting land with fuel crops was having on food prices.
However the Government it still intent on hitting the target of 3.5% by 2010, with the percentage increasing in following years.
In 2003 the Biofuels Corporation announced it was creating the world's largest biofuel plant on Teesside making fuel from rapeseed, soya and palm oil.
Three years later this vision became a reality when the £43m plant came on line and in June 2006 it was officially opened by Tony Blair
But it soon became apparent Biofuels Corporation was having difficulties and it later revealed it had lost around £50m on an earlier attempt to hedge the company's trading risks.
As it debts soared its share price tanked and in autumn 2007 it was delisted from the Alternative Investment Market and taken over by Barclays.
Barclays Ventures, which now owns the business, declined to discuss the business.|
|Subsidised US biodiesel pays the penalty
Jul 29 2009 Evening Gazette
THE decision to extend penalty tariffs on heavily subsidised American biodiesel has been welcomed by a leading producer on Teesside.
Richard Nickels, chief executive of The Biofuels Corporation at Seal Sands, said since Europe shrugged off allegations of protectionism in March to slap preliminary charges on US imports, he had seen the equivalent of a $200/t increase in the price for his product.
"They were holding the market back," he said. "Margins have gone up, although we still aren't getting enough feedstock."
This month, Europe extended the anti-dumping duty, which will cost American producers up to $333/t, by another five years.
The Biofuels Corporation, which until spring this year was running substantially under capacity, had increased output, but Mr Nickels said it was impossible to forecast when it would hit maximum production.
The multi-feedstock plant now ran almost exclusively on UK and Irish waste oil, he said, with around 15% oil seed rape and tallow.
"We are now firmly going down the waste oil route," said Mr Nickels, but there was insufficient feedstock to supply the 250,000/t a year plant.
Overcapacity in the European biodiesel industry now stands at around 13m tonnes, according to the European Biodiesel Board.
Mr Nickels acknowledged that, on the face of it, tariffs were indefensible.
"But not if they are driven by a (US) subsidy - that's the issue," he said. "My argument from the very start was that I would not have a problem with American imports - as I don't with Argentinian - as long as there was no subsidy. America was carrying a $300/t cost and we could not compete."|
|Boost for biofuels' future
Mar 10 2009 Evening Gazette
TEESSIDE'S biofuels industry was last night cheering an apparent victory in the bitterly fought campaign to stop heavily subsidised American "green" diesel flooding the UK market.
After months of lobbying, it emerged that the European Commission had heeded calls to hit US imports with hefty countervailing taxes, despite earlier fears that it would put it at loggerheads with the World Trade Organisation.
The news was leaked ahead of publication on Thursday of British trade commissioner Catherine Ashton's proposed fix, which could see American producers hit by as much as $521 (£376)/tonne.
The measures, introduced under anti-dumping and anti-subsidy rules, would help restore the battered British industry, said Richard Nickels, chief executive of the Biofuels Corporation on Teesside - the only remaining biodiesel producer in the North-east.
Like many plants, it has been operating at well below capacity in response to artificially depressed prices.
"If you look at prices now, they are about $200 lower than the market would stick at (without US subsidies)," he said. "So one assumes that the biodiesel market will return to normality. As long as it's a level playing field, we will turn up production."
The taxes are expected to be imposed for four to six months while the Commission continues its investigation. If ratified by member states at the end of that period, they could be in place for up to five years.
MP Martin Callanan, who has led the anti-dumping campaign in Europe, said: "I am no fan of protectionism but these measures are necessary to restore balance. US producers have had it too easy for far too long while producers in our region have been hit hard."
John Seymour, of supply-chain consortium North East Biofuels, said: "We are delighted. This is what the industry has been calling for.
"The European biodiesel industry has been haemorrhaging because it can't compete. Europe is the biggest market for biodiesel because the US is mainly a petrol economy. Shippers have also made a fortune out of this."
Ian Waller, from Stockton-based consultants Five Bar Gate, said B99 fuels (see panel) had been to blame for forcing the industry out of the North-east.
"This is not the answer to all the industry's woes but it's certainly great news. This resets the marketplace. We are anticipating B99 effectively being stopped. The effect from this should be to re-level the playing field."|
|Rival goes under
Jan 29 2009 Evening Gazette
ADDED urgency was given to a European probe into US biodiesel subsidies this week with news that one of the few remaining biodiesel plants in the UK had entered administration.
The decision by Northumberland-based V-Fuels to call in the administrators leaves the Biofuels Corporation plant at Seal Sands as the last remaining producer in England, following DI Oil's departure from Middlesbrough last year.
V-Fuels site director John Moller said a combination of events had forced the decision to put the site up for sale.
"It doesn't mean that as a site and as a business we are a dead duck. We are hoping that the business will be able to move forward - whether that's as V-Fuels or as another entity is a different matter."
The plant, which is running at two-thirds of the 150,000t/pa capacity it reached before cutting staff from 100 to 42 last year, is a multi-feedstock site set up in 2006 to process mainly used cooking oil (UCO) along with smaller amounts of virgin rape and soya oil.
A month-long shut down forced by a blocked effluent discharge system in late 2008 tipped the firm into administration , said Mr Moller.
But he admitted that "if margins had been a little bit greater that would have made a difference".
UK producers, including the Biofuels Corporation, backed by North-east Euro MP Martin Callanan among others, have been calling for action against heavily subsidised imports of biodiesel from the States.
"The problems facing the biodiesel industry could have been addressed much sooner. The EU trade authorities have been far too slow to react," said Mr Callanan. "Dumping cheaper fuel on European markets undoubtedly affects the margins of our firms."
An announcement is expected from the European Commission in March.|
|The Liquidation commenced following shareholder approval at a General Meeting held on 25th July 2008.
Toby Scott Underwood and Malcolm Cohen of BDO Stoy Hayward LLP have been appointed as Joint Liquidators of the Company.
Further to the Liquidation, we have received notification that Earl's Nook shares are no longer eligible to be held within the UK Settlement System.|
|Biofuels output up to standard
Oct 8 2008
BIOFUELS bosses on Teesside have welcomed a report claiming the UK's output is meeting green standards.
But they say subsidies for US imports should be slashed to secure the health of home-grown product, amid claims the green standards of biofuel sold in Britain are being dragged down by less eco-friendly imports.
According to the first quarterly report by the Renewable Fuels Agency (RFA), the amount of UK road biofuel has exceeded the 2.5% targets set by the Government's Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation at 2.61%.
Almost all - 97% - of the biofuel from UK feedstocks met environmental sustainability standards, but overall biofuel sold in the UK failed to meet the 30% target at just 20%. Major fuel companies not meeting Government carbon-saving targets are named and shamed in the report.
Alwyn Hughes, CEO of Ensus, welcomed the RFA report: "The more transparency we've got the better, hopefully this will give the Government more confidence in the industry."
Richard Nickels, chief executive of Teesside's Biofuels Corporation, said US imports had a heavy presence in the UK.
"The US is able to dump such heavily subsidised product on Britain with such ease. It's brought the European biofuels industry to its knees.
"All our products meet sustainability standards, compared with just 20% overall - further evidence that sub-standard US imports should go."
The industry on Teesside is eagerly awaiting the outcome of an EU investigation into import subsidies, following complaints lodged by the European Biodiesel Board against US producers. According to the EC, biodiesel imports into Europe soared from 2.1m gallons in 2005 to 300.2m gallons in 2007. The lion's share, the EC claims, came from the US due to unfair price-setting which has crippled many European producers.
North-east Conservative MEP, Martin Callanan, said: "Peter Mandelson's recent exit from Brussels must not be used by the Commission as an excuse for yet more delay on this matter."|
THE North East's biofuel sector has been dealt a blow after a long-awaited Government report concluded that the fast growth of the industry should be slowed.
The Gallagher Review into the indirect effects of biofuel production, published yesterday, said the brake should be applied to fuels' introduction until effective controls had been put in place to stop land for food crops being taken over by fuel crops.
It suggested the rush to develop biofuels had contributed to the higher cost of food.
Review chairman, Professor Ed Gallagher of the Renewable Fuels Agency , said: "Our review makes clear that the risks of negative impacts from biofuels are real and significant, but also lays out a path for a truly sustainable biofuels industry in the future."
It casts doubt over the Government's ambitious targets to increase the amount of energy generated by biofuels.
In April, the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation was introduced, requiring that all petrol and diesel sold in the UK to contain at least 2.5% biofuel, increasing to 5% by 2010 a rise of 1.25% a year. But yesterday's review proposed that the target should only be increased by 0.5% annually.
In a statement to the Commons, Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly said the Government would consult on slowing this rate.
She said: "This Government has always been clear that biofuels can only make a useful contribution to mitigating climate change if they are sustainably produced.
"I agree with Professor Gallagher that we should take a precautionary approach over the next few years, until we are clearer about their wider effects on the environment. Our policy should be based on the best possible science and as the evidence evolves, so too should our policy evolve with it."|
|if you like biofuels RPL is a far better prospect|