Plans for Quantafuel’s first UK plastics recycling plant approved

Quantafuel Sunderland

Quantafuel ASA says its plans to build a series of plastic recycling plants across the UK are accelerating after planning permission was granted for its first plant.

Sunderland City Council has given the go-ahead for the new plastics recycling plant at the Port of Sunderland, which Quantafuel ASA says will create over 100 permanent jobs and process plastic waste that is largely not recycled in the UK.

Construction is expected to get underway later this year, with the plant opening in 2025, and will be the first plant operated by Quantafuel in the UK to recycle plastics.

The Norwegian technology-based recycling company says the plant will take mixed plastic waste from across the north of England that would otherwise have been incinerated or disposed of in landfill.

Quantafuel Sunderland Ltd, a subsidiary of Quantafuel ASA, will build the plastics processing plant on a key 12-acre site on the eastern edge of the port.

Using pyrolysis technology, the materials will be heated in the absence of oxygen so they break down into raw materials (pyrolysis oils) that can be used again in the manufacture of new products, including high-grade plastics, the company says.

We’re hoping to open similar plants across the UK but chose Sunderland as our first development as the port provides an ideal location.

The plant will be designed to process around 100,000 tonnes of low-value plastic waste, such as soft food packaging and a variety of domestic and industrial plastics.

Quantafuel ASA says the raw materials produced in the plant will be shipped from the port to customers in the petrochemical industry to be used again, while self-generated gas (NCG) will be used to power the plant.

Commenting on the announcement, Winifred Patricia Johansen, Director of Quantafuel Sunderland, thanked the City Council and port and said she looked forward to working with them to create a plant that could become a key part of Sunderland’s future growth and Net Zero plans.

“We’re very pleased to have secured planning permission and thank council members for sharing in our ambition to create a long-term, sustainable alternative to incineration and landfill for dealing with plastics.

“We’re hoping to open similar plants across the UK but chose Sunderland as our first development as the port provides an ideal location, and the city has a good, skilled workforce to draw on.

“We’re looking forward to working with the community to bring this plant to fruition.”

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