Yara International ASA is to invest €30m in a new world-scale liquid carbon dioxide facility and enter into a long term partnership with the Ensus Group, which will eventually see the company providing high purity liquid gases for the UK food and beverages industry.

The new liquid CO2 facility will be constructed next to the Ensus wheat refinery at Teesside in the UK, and will be operational in mid 2009 with an annual liquid capacity of 250,000 tonnes. This will enable Norway’s Yara to continuously supply a growing number of customers in the UK with CO2 from the new plant, its existing plant in Billingham and the Thames terminal.

The terminal facility at Teesside also allows shipment of products to terminals in Scandinavia and Northern Europe.

Following the agreement, CO2 raw gas produced at the Ensus wheat refining plant, which is the largest in Europe, will be supplied into the new Yara plant and upgraded to high purity liquid CO2 for the growing UK food and beverages industry.

Ensus aims to become a leading provider of bioethanol to the European transport fuels market, with the UK-based company building a highly energy efficient and integrated wheat refining plant that harnesses the starch in the plant to produce bioethanol, conserves the protein for animal feed and supplies CO2 raw gas for upgrading to high purity products.

All the plant outputs are thereby dedicated to either the food or biofuel industry.

Ensus expects to complete the construction of its refinery during the first half of 2009, the plant will produce enough bioethanol to meet around one third of the UK’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation, which requires all petrol sold in the UK to contain 2.5% biofuel. This is set to rise to 5% in 2010.