Norweigan firm Quantafuel is preparing a planning application to build a plant at Port of Sunderland, which would take plastic waste not currently recycled in the UK and ‘upcycle’ it into products which can be used to produce new, high-quality plastic.
Now plans have taken a step closer to becoming a reality after Sunderland City Council officially agreed to give the compay the first option to develop the land.
Quantafuel Sunderland Ltd – part of the specialist recycling company based in Norway – met Sunderland City Council leader Councillor Graeme Miller on May 31 to sign the option agreement on the proposed site.
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The option agreement prevents the council from selling or leasing the land to anyone else whilst Quantafuel is finalising its proposal and awaiting planning permission.
Lars Rosenløv, CEO of Quantafuel, said: “We’re delighted to have signed the option agreement on this prime development site in Sunderland and are looking forward to submitting our planning application very soon.
“It’s an important step in the process as we look to develop new facilities to help deal with the issue of plastic waste in the UK, and we very much appreciate the support and encouragement of Sunderland City Council as we work to bring this long-term, sustainable recycling facility to fruition.”
Cllr Miller said the council had worked hard to attract investment into the port and was excited about the development of new, low carbon businesses on the site, which will boost the UK’s circular economy.
“It’s been wonderful to meet with the Quantafuel team today to sign the option agreement on the land, which shows our commitment to them and our desire to become a key investment hub for innovative businesses looking to develop and create the latest sustainable technologies that will build our green future,” he said.
“The port is key to the city’s development plans and we continue to invest in it to develop our rail, road, and sea links, which are vital to attracting such global investment. We look forward to working with Quantafuel as it develops its plans through the planning process.”
Quantafuel is set to apply for permission to build the plastics recycling plant on a 12-acre site on the eastern edge of the Port of Sunderland.
The plant would take plastics that are not currently recycled from across the north of England.
By chemically recycling it, Quantafuel produces a substitute for fossil oil and reduces C02 emissions by up to 50% compared to incineration.
Subject to planning permission, Quantafuel is planning to have the plastics recycling plant operational in 2024, creating around 100 new, long-term jobs. It will also support around 200 jobs during construction and create training and apprenticeship opportunities for the local community.
If approved, the facility 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 held consultation events in March this year to enable members of the public to find out more about the plans, and it also distributed leaflets to thousands of homes to raise awareness about its development plans.
Members of the public are still able to view the information boards at www.quantafuel.com/sunderland