Axis experts were ideally qualified to prepare the development’s planning application and environmental assessments for Peel NRE to develop the UK’s first plastic to hydrogen plant.
Plastic waste is a growing concern. In the UK, more than five million tonnes of plastic waste is generated each year, and as a nation, we’ve become over-reliant on sending poor quality plastic waste abroad, where it can contribute to environmental pollution.
Although our recycling capacity is increasing, there will always be a percentage of waste plastic that cannot be recycled. The challenge in these instances is to extract as much value as possible from this resource.
We were commissioned by regeneration specialists Peel NRE to assist with the planning and development of the UK’s first plastic to hydrogen plant, housing innovative new technology that can transform non-recyclable waste plastic into an energy-rich gas, from which hydrogen can be extracted in an environmentally sustainable way.
The hydrogen can then be used to power vehicles and the gas can generate electricity and heat, which can be exported for use by businesses and communities.
Peel NRE’s plastics to hydrogen project was proposed for Protos – a significant industrial development site focused on sustainable waste management and energy development on the outskirts of Chester.
Having significant local experience in Cheshire West and Chester, our Axis experts were ideally qualified to prepare the development’s planning application and environmental assessments in line with the requirements of the council, and various statutory and technical consultees.
Together with the wider project team, we also undertook an extensive engagement exercise, holding public exhibitions and meetings with local parish councils and interest groups.
We’ve since prepared and submitted a second planning application for Peel NRE’s next waste plastic to hydrogen plant – this time for a facility in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. The Dunbartonshire development includes a hydrogen refuelling station and, once operational, would have the capacity to refuel 40 HGVs per day.
The application for the facility at Protos received positive comments from members of the local community and interest groups. Cheshire West and Chester Council voted unanimously to approve the planning application at Protos.
We’ve since prepared and submitted applications to discharge planning conditions and construction is due to start very soon on this innovative waste management solution. Once completed, the plant will not only contribute to the sustainable management of waste plastic in the UK but also help support our expanding hydrogen economy.
Andrew Russell, Technical Director at Axis, said: “We’re delighted to have led the application and secured planning consent for the project. This innovative development will help deliver a sustainable waste management solution for the significant volumes of waste plastic generated in the UK each year.”
Richard Barker, Development Director at Peel NRE, part of Peel L&P, adds: “It’s imperative we deliver creative solutions to the UK’s plastic problem. This project clusters recycling technologies in one place so that we can make the most of a whole range of plastic materials arriving on site, avoiding the need to ship them to different facilities around the region. It’ll mean we can cut down on vehicle movements, create a number of new jobs and deliver essential infrastructure to underpin a North West circular economy that’s much more sustainable.”
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