PLANS for the UK’s first £165 million (€194 million) plastic petrochem park have moved a step closer.
The park will be designed to tackle a share of the UK’s 4.9 million tonnes of annual plastic waste and will use pioneering technology to turn this waste into hydrogen.
Peel NRE, part of Peel L&P, has submitted a planning application for the Plastic Park to be developed at Protos, the company’s strategic energy and resource hub near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.
It will cluster together innovative processing and treatment technologies to get the most value from plastic waste.
Two facilities at the Plastic Park have already received planning consent – the UK’s first waste plastic to hydrogen facility using pioneering Powerhouse Energy technology and a PET (polyethylene terephthalate) recycling plant that will take food and beverage packaging, such as plastic bottles, and recycle them for use in making new packaging products.
Peel NRE is now seeking planning approval for a number of further facilities which would provide capacity for up to 367,500 tonnes of mixed recyclables and plastic and create 147 new jobs.
Richard Barker, Development Director at Peel NRE, part of Peel L&P, said: “As our pre-application consultation showed, the issue of plastic waste is high up the agenda. By clustering various treatment technologies together in one place, we can maximise the amount of plastic that can be recycled and create a circular economy in the North West.
“Over time, the flow of materials between the different facilities means vehicle movements will reduce and we will use any plastic that can’t be recycled to create hydrogen which can be used as a clean fuel for HGVs, buses and cars.
“This will not only create 147 jobs and address the urgent need to tackle plastic waste, it’ll also deliver significant carbon savings, helping the North West reach its ambition to be the first net zero region in the UK.”
It comes as the UK prepares to host the global climate summit, COP26, in Glasgow this November. Peel NRE’s innovative Plastic Park would contribute significantly to the North West of England becoming carbon neutral by 2040. As well as reducing the need for virgin plastic, the facilities would save over 190,000 tonnes of CO2 every year when compared to landfill.
The application will now be considered by Cheshire West and Chester Council with a decision expected in early 2022.