Chips down for biodiesel

A leading supplier to fish and chip shops is planning to cut costs and reduce reliance on fossil fuels by fuelling its fleet of vehicles with biodiesel made from used cooking oils.

The company, Henry Colbeck, has opened an onsite biodiesel-processing facility, which has begun recycling waste oils collected from shops across Scotland and the North of England.

Based in Gateshead, the company’s 32 vehicles use 500,000 litres of fuel every year and invested £100,000 investment in its own processing unit

Managing director, Andrew Naylor, said: ‘New legislation means users of cooking oils must dispose of their waste fats more responsibly so the collection of the material has become a growth area in the industry over recent years.

‘We are able to sell the used oils and fats on to producers of biodiesel, but as we consume so much fuel ourselves it made sense for us to investigate how we could make cost savings and at the same time make a serious environmental contribution. Biodiesel made from waste oil is greener than green as it overcomes the food versus fuel dilemma associated with biodiesel production from virgin oil.

‘We have been using a 50 per cent blend in our trucks for the past three months. Initially, our cost savings on fuel will be off-set by the need to service the vehicles more regularly, but we are confident that this will reduce and that we will also be able to increase the blend.’

Advisors from the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) funded a project by Wayne Hayes Consultants to source and manage the installation of a biofuel production capability at the company’s 370m2 facility in Gateshead.

Henry Colbeck secured a £27,000 Selective Finance for Investment grant from regional development agency One NorthEast towards the project, which is set to create seven new jobs at the site.