Planning permission granted for Quantafuel’s first UK plastics recycling plant

Planning permission granted…

Quantafuel’s plans to build a series of plastic recycling plants across the UK are moving on swiftly after planning permission was granted for its first operation in Sunderland. Sunderland City Council has given the go-ahead for a new Plastic-to-Liquid (PtL) plant to be built on land at the Port of Sunderland, creating over 100 permanent jobs and processing plastic waste that is largely not recycled in the UK.

A sustainable alternative to incineration and landfill

The plant will take mixed plastic waste from across the north of England that would otherwise have been incinerated or disposed of in landfill. It will be the first plant operated by Quantafuel in the UK to recycle plastics, reducing CO2 emissions by around 70% compared to incineration. Construction is expected to get underway later this year, with the plant opening in 2025. Quantafuel Sunderland Ltd - a subsidiary of Quantafuel ASA - will build the PtL plant on a key 12-acre site on the eastern edge of Port of Sunderland.

Lars Rosenløv, CEO of Quantafuel, said: "We’re very happy 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 planning to build similar plants across the UK but chose Sunderland as our first development site as the port provides an ideal location and the city has a good, skilled workforce that we can draw on. We thank the City Council for its welcoming and forward-thinking approach to our proposal and look forward to working with both the Council and the local community as we create a plant we hope will become a key part of Sunderland’s future ambitious growth and Net Zero plans."

Photo: Quantafuel

Over 100 new jobs will be created

The new plant will support 200 jobs during construction and will create over 100 new, full-time posts when it opens. It 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. The raw materials produced in the plant will be used to produce new, high quality plastic products, while self-generated gas (NCG) will be used to power the plant.

Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller, who is also Chair of Port of Sunderland, said: "I’m thrilled the Council has given permission for Quantafuel to build its first UK plastics recycling operation right here in Sunderland. We’re a city transforming and growing, and this major investment from Quantafuel demonstrates what we have to offer global companies, and our transition to becoming a key investment hub for innovative businesses in the sustainable technologies and green industries. 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 investment. We look forward to working with Quantafuel in the months and years ahead as it brings these exciting plans to life."

Port of Sunderland is key to Sunderland’s growth plans

Port Director Matthew Hunt said Quantafuel was a welcome addition to the site.

"In recent years, there has been huge investment and effort to stimulate interest and growth at the port, and a lot of infrastructure works have been carried out to attract new business," he said. "It’s great to see these efforts paying off with Quantafuel investing, alongside new businesses, such as Wastefront and Brineflow Limited. We wish Quantafuel well and look forward to working with them as they begin construction and become an integral part of the business community at the port."