Green energy and biofuels company meets national demand with new thetford processing plant


Green energy and biofuels company Living Fuels has launched a new processing facility on the Freedom Farm Recycling Park at Hockwold, near Thetford, after an investment of almost one million pounds with local Norfolk companies.The new plant has also created an additional five jobs in the region.

Living Fuels, part of Renewable Energy Generation Group, opened the new facility, which forms the hub for its national operations, after demand for its services rocketed over the last 18 months.

The company collects used cooking oil from over 270 local authority recycling centres, 54 of those in East Anglia, and refines it into a completely green biofuel called LF100.The fuel is then used to produce electricity and heat in dedicated CHP generators across the UK, including a 4.8MW renewable energy plant at Bentwaters Business Park in Suffolk. LF100 is also used to fuel a 0.4MW CHP operation on Freedom Farm providing electricity and heat for the recycling site.

Rob Murphy, operations director of Living Fuels’ parent company REG Bio-Power, explains: "The last four years working out of Hockwold has seen the company grow from two people and a van to an operation which has recovered over 135,000 litres of used cooking oil in East Anglia to date, thereby preventing a substantial quantity of cooking oil from being incorrectly poured down the drain, and causing blockages, or sent to landfill.

“In fact, we are now nearing our millionth litre across the UK.The van has been replaced with an 18,000 litre tanker, which makes the whole process more efficient and environmentally-friendly.

“One litre of used cooking oil, once recovered into LF100, can generate enough electricity to power an energy-saving light bulb for 225 hours or make 240 cups of tea.

If everyone in East Anglia recycled just one litre of cooking oil, then we’d be able to generate enough electricity to power over 2,000 average households for a year."

Cllr Tony Tomkinson, Chairman of Norfolk County Council, has supported Living Fuels’ investment in the region: "The investment in the region is great news for the county’s recycling agenda, we now have an innovative renewable energy solution for a waste product which used to be challenging to dispose of and damaging to the environment.

“Living Fuels has generated employment and economic investment in East Anglia at a time when many businesses are still feeling the effects of a difficult recession.”

The new processing plant was launched on Friday, 15 October 2010 by Councillor Tony Tomkinson and the Living Fuels team.