More than 100 new jobs could be created after plans for a specialist recycling plant in Sunderland came a step closer to fruition.
Norwegian firm Quantafuel announced plans earlier this year for a string of UK plastics recycling plants, earmarking the Port of Sunderland to house the first. Now the plans have moved forward after Sunderland City Council officially agreed to give Quantafuel first option to develop the land.
Quantafuel Sunderland Ltd met with Coun Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, to sign the option agreement on the proposed site, paving the way for it to create 100 jobs once it is open and operational, and around 200 through the construction phase.
The company is now preparing to submit a planning application to build its plant at Port of Sunderland, where plastic waste that is currently not recycled in the UK will be upcycled into products that can be used to produce new, high-quality plastic. The plant, which could open during 2024 subject to gaining planning approval, could also lead to training and apprenticeships for North East people.
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.”
Coun 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.”