Plastics recycling specialist Quantafuel is proposing to build the plastics recycling plant on a 12-acre site east of the Port of Sunderland and is preparing to submit a planning application.
If the development application is approved, the opening is expected in 2024 and will create approximately 100 new long-term jobs with the possibility of training and apprenticeship opportunities for the local community.
It is also understood that around 200 jobs will also be supported during the construction process.
Quantafuel CEO Lars Rosenløv said, “I am delighted to announce Quantafuel’s expansion into circular plastics in the UK.
“We have identified an excellent site in Sunderland and are grateful for the positive reception from the Port and the City Council.
“It’s important that we give the local community a chance to review the plans and find out more, and this is the first step in achieving that.”
“We are disappointed that we had to postpone our plans for community walk-in events in January, so we are making information available on our website at this time.”
If approved, the facility will process low-value plastic waste that is not currently recycled in the UK, such as soft food packaging and a variety of household and industrial plastics.
It will transform plastic waste into raw materials that can be reused in the production of high-quality plastic.
The plant will be designed to process over 110,000 tonnes of plastics which will come from locations in the north of England.
It would use a chemical process, known as pyrolysis, to break down plastic waste into small fragments in the absence of oxygen.
Mr Rosenløv added: “This is our first step towards circular plastics in the UK. Currently there is no environmentally friendly way to dispose of these plastics and they are either sent to landfill or incinerated or end up littering the countryside and oceans.
“The plant would be a positive step in helping the UK achieve its net zero targets.”
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Councilor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council and chairman of the Port of Sunderland, encouraged people to find out more about the plans.
He commented: “The Covid pandemic has upended many plans at the moment and naturally Quantafuel felt that postponing walk-in events was the safest thing to do.
“I encourage people to review the detailed information on the Quantafuel website and provide feedback online.
“We look forward to the Quantafuel team hosting an exhibition of their plans around town as soon as they can.”