£100 million invested approved to install world-leading recycling plant in Sunderland

By Anna Pavlova

On the 31st of January 2022 a Norwegian green energy company backed by energy giant, Vitol was given permission to press ahead with plans to construct the UK’s greenest tyre recycling plant at the Port of Sunderland. This plant is representing the largest ever investment at the North Sea Hub which will put the North East at the forefront of sustainable tyre recycling.

An estimated 29 million metric tonnes of vehicle tyres read the end of their lifespan each year worldwide representing an underreported and major cause of pollution due to their non-biodegradability. Their aim is to convert tyre waste into usable commodities which mean that this new plant will use operating technologies to convert end of life tyres into useful commodities. This includes biofuels and carbon black which can then be reutilised to produce new tyres

Co-founder and director, Christian A Hvamstad, an alumnus of the University of Sunderland said “Our ambition is to create a Green Global Industrial Platform for dealing with waste issues. Waste fronts first UK plant will represent a valuable contribution to a cleaner future”.

Since unveiling the plans for the recycling plans in August 2020, Wastefront has secured a decisive 10-year supply deal with the energy giant, Vitol and this means we will see the world’s largest independent oil trader purchase all the Sunderland plant’s available liquid hydrocarbons.

Vianney Vales, CEO at Wastefront added “Our mission is to solve complex environmental problems while generating economic growth and we are making it happen”.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said, “This is absolutely fantastic news and not only for Sunderland but the entire UK and we can’t’ wait to see work start apace on the development of the site”.

Construction on the development is expected to begin this year in 2022 with company executives confident that the plans will be in operation by 2024. This plant will also create about 100 skilled jobs once in full operation.