Britain’s first bioethanol plant was officially opened last week. British Sugar’s Wissington factory, in Norfolk, will produce 70 million litres of bioethanol annually, which will be blended with petrol up to a mix of five per cent bioethanol, 95 percent petrol.All petrol-engined cars on the road today can operate on this blend without modification, which is already being supplied in some supermarket fuel stations such as Morrisons. Bioethanol is made from sugar beet, which would otherwise have been surplus to the UK’s food requirements, and can produce carbon savings of 50 to 70 per cent compared to fossil-derived petrol.British Sugar’s bioethanol will contribute to the five percent mix with petrol that the UK government has committed to achieving by 2010. The target was set under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO); a framework designed to develop a market for transport biofuels by requiring that a proportion of the fuel used for road transport comes from renewable sources. The plant was opened by Lord Rooker, minister for sustainable food and farming and animal health (pictured).