UK Defence Procurement Minister Guto Bebb has officially launched a new production line for the first solid bio-ethanol fuel in the world.
The new fuel, called FireDragon, can be used by UK armed troops in-the-field in order to heat their combat rations at places where catering facilities are unavailable.
Produced by BCB International, FireDragon is a non-toxic fuel that does not generate any potentially harmful noxious fumes unlike alternative fuel tablets. It can burn cleanly and is made from sustainable natural ingredients.
The UK-based survival equipment manufacturer has up until now delivered nearly eight million tablets to the British Army.
BCB International managing director Andrew Howell said: “FireDragon is a safer and cleaner alternative. It is made from sustainable natural ingredients, it is non-toxic, burns cleanly, can be ignited even when wet and if necessary can be used as a hand cleanser.
“The British Army was the first military to have the vision and make the switch to FireDragon. This move has encouraged other armies to consider FireDragon as a fuel for the future.”
The £750,000 new production line of the FireDragon fuel will help generate 15 new job opportunities.
Bebb said: “From fighter jets to fuel rations, it is essential that our troops have the best kit possible. FireDragon sees our armed forces benefit from a cleaner, safer and more sustainable fuel source.
“BCB International has 164 years of industry experience in survival equipment, and this new production line will ensure the company can meet growing demand and continue to expand its workforce in the years ahead.”
The launch of the new fuel production line is part of the four-year £3.6m Operational Ration Heaters (ORH) contract that was awarded to the company by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 6 October 2015.
Currently, the contract is managed by Team Leidos as part of the Logistics Commodities and Services (Transformation) contract.