Three industrial consultants have invested more than £80,000 in a new business venture to create a bio-diesel plant on the outskirts of Worcestershire’S Stourport. They plan to supply their product to major oil companies such as BP and Shell and are aiming at £2 million (€2.3 million) in sales in year one.
On a gap year cycling around the world engineers Geoff Cunningham and one of his former colleagues began thinking about the future of this planet and if there was anything they could do to help. Using their engineering background, they looked at renewable fuels, and said they spotted a gap in the market where they could use cooking oil to create biodiesel. Last October, together with another former colleague, Organic Drive was founded.
The new 4,500sq ft production facility is now operating at full capacity, producing 100 tonnes a week of biodiesel from the used cooking oil. “There has to be a minimum of five per cent biodiesel blended into all main fuels so the market is exponential and, in the UK, there are currently very few producers,” said Duncan Morrison, who previously worked for BMW and Rolls Royce. “Utilising the expertise of Cambridge University’s Chemical Engineering Department, we have developed a number of process innovations that allow us to reduce yield losses significantly. Basically, this means we can make it cheaper than anyone else.”
The company is planning an expansion project and is currently working to obtain funding from Wyre Forest District Council to help finance this.