UK-based bio-fuel producer Ensus is shutting down operations at its bioethanol plant in northeast England citing difficult market conditions.

The company claimed that the production termination will be for a short period of time, although it has not disclosed the timeframe.

The plant has a capacity to produce about 400 million to 450 million liters of bio-ethanol annually from about 1 million tons of wheat.

The growing price of wheat in the UK market is reportedly the cause of the temporary pause of operations at the plant.

Confirming the operational halt, Ensus spokesperson stated that the company expects the market condition to improve and also maintained that the plant would resume its operations in the future.

"Unfortunately, the European ethanol market continues to be challenging as the price of ethanol has not risen in line with input costs.

"In the UK the poor wheat harvest in 2012 has also had an adverse impact on the quality and price of the feed wheat feedstock used within the plant, while rising gas prices have pushed our costs up considerably," elaborated the spokesperson.

Due to the bad harvest, Ensus had to use 20% – 30% of more maize for the ethanol production.

Ensus, owned by US private equity funds the Carlyle Group and Riverstone, uses wheat or maize to process the bio-fuel. It breaks down the starch content of the grains to sugars and ferments it to ethanol.