Biffa announces plans to invest £27.5 million into Seaham recycling plant

The new plant will be built on Admiralty Way in Dawdon. Image copyright Google Maps.
The new plant will be built on Admiralty Way in Dawdon. Image copyright Google Maps.

Waste management company Biffa has said it plans to pump £27.5 million into expanding its Seaham plastic recycling plant.

Biffa chief executive Michael Topham said it plans to invest the cash into its site will allow it to process 120,000 tonnes of plastic a year.

The company announced in February it would be creating 70 full time jobs at its facility at Foxcover Distribution Park, in Admiralty Way in Dawdon.

Read more: 70 jobs in pipeline as new Seaham recycling plant gets green light

At that stage it was given planning permission by Durham County Council for a £15 million plastics recycling plant.

It has said the facility will be in operation 24/7, processing 3 million bottles a day into new food and drink packaging, with construction to begin this summer, with the first commissioning trials scheduled for December.

The company also said at that point the plans for Seaham will double the company’s recycling capacity for plastic bottles, adding to its flagship Redcar plant, which processes around 18,000 tonnes of recycled High Density Polyethylene (rHDPE) a year to create milk bottles and food trays.

The news of the additional cash into the Seaham project comes as the firm confirmed its business has suffered from several countries in South East Asia banning the import of plastic recycling, the company said.

The issue has improved but helped contribute to pretax profits for the year to March 29 falling 44% to £21.5 million. Revenues were up 3.3% at £1.1 billion.

Biffa chief executive Michael Topham said the company "successfully weathered the headwinds associated with the Chinese import restrictions on commodities and the recent market impacts in our municipal division.

"Both of these areas, which have put downward pressure on our financial performance, have now stabilised."