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Wood selected as EPC for ReNew ELP Teesside plastics recovery plant

John Wood Group PLC (Wood), the global consulting and engineering company, has announced that it has entered into a partnership with ReNew ELP to develop the world’s first commercial-scale plastic recycling plant using an innovative advanced recycling process in the northeast of England.

John Wood Group PLC (Wood) has entered into a partnership with ReNew ELP to develop the world’s first commercial-scale plastic recycling plant using an innovative advanced recycling process in the northeast of England. Wood has been appointed by ReNew ELP as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor on the multi-million-pound project, and work on this innovative site will start later in the Spring (image courtesy Wood).

The plant will be built on the site of the former Invista Textiles plant at Wilton International, with the construction phase creating up to 80 jobs. A further 30 people will be employed when it starts operation in late 2022, with more jobs created as additional production lines are added.

We are delighted to announce our partnership with Wood which marks one of the most significant stages in this vitally important project. We will soon see construction start on the plant which will be the first of its kind in the world and, coupled with the Teesside plans announced recently by the Chancellor, makes this a very exciting time for ReNew ELP and its partners.  The development of this first site marks a landmark event for the recycling industry and for the environment, said Richard Daley, Managing Director, ReNew ELP

Licella core technology

ReNew ELP’s plant will use a ground-breaking advanced recycling process called Hydrothermal Plastic Recycling Solution (HydroPRS) to recycle end-of-life plastic (ELP) waste into hydrocarbon feedstocks, for use in the manufacture of new plastic products and other materials

Developed by UK-based Mura Technology Ltd (Mura), ReNew ELP’s parent company, the HydroPRS utilizes at its core Licella Holdings’s patented Cat-HTR technology for which Mura is a licensee.

HydroPRS uses water in the form of supercritical steam to convert plastics back into the chemicals and oils from which they were made, the equivalent of a fossil resource. These products can then be used in the manufacture of new plastics and other materials. The conversion process takes approximately just 25 minutes.

There is no limit to the number of times the same plastic can be recycled using HydroPRS, entering plastic into a circular economy and helping to reduce plastic pollution.

Mura’s ambition is to see a 1 million tonne global, annual recycling capacity in operation or development by 2025, with the plant at Wilton being the first commercial-scale operation of HydroPRS.

First phase underway

Wood will lead on the delivery of EPC solutions for the new facility, with works starting imminently. Upon commissioning of the first phase, the plant will be capable of processing up to 20 000 tonnes of waste plastic each year, rising to 80 000 tonnes on site on completion with an estimated annual saving of 120 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, when compared with incineration.

We are proud to have developed a strong relationship with ReNew ELP in recent months and look forward to continuing our partnership to bring this innovative technology to life. On completion, this plant will make it possible to not only reduce the plastic pollution in our natural environment but will help to reduce both CO2 emissions and the requirement for single-use plastic. The circular economy represents a critical and growing industry in our collective quest for a more sustainable future and so I am delighted that ReNew ELP has selected Wood to join them on this journey, said Craig Shanaghey, President of Wood’s Operations business across Europe, Middle East, and Africa,

Awarded grant funding

In October 2020, the ReNew ELP project was awarded a GBP4.42 million (≈ EUR 4.9 million) grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, with Environment Minister Rebecca Pow MP highlighting the importance of “investing in these truly ground-breaking technologies” and emphasizing the government’s commitment to the reuse of waste plastic.

Plastic waste is one of the biggest threats to our environment, which is why the UK government is supporting innovative technologies that can drive towards a more sustainable and circular economy for plastic recycling. Following UKRI’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Demonstrator programme grant to the ReNew ELP advanced recycling project at Teesside, we are delighted that the project is developing partnerships with other major investors, helping to make the pilot-to-commercial scale development a reality. Government and private investment working together in technology development is great for skills and jobs in Teesside, the UK economy, and critically, delivering important benefits for a low-carbon, globally sustainable future, said Paul Davidson, Challenge Director at Innovate UK.

Earlier this month, advanced recycling was for the first time recognized as contributing to government targets for recycled plastics and supporting measures such as the proposed plastic tax for recycled content in packaging.

ReNew ELP’s plastics recycling facility is the first of its kind in the world and represents the very future of how we deal with currently unrecyclable materials. I’m delighted that this is being achieved by a company based in Teesside. It means more jobs and investment and it puts our region on the map when it comes to state-of-the-art, new technologies. Due to the huge potential that HydroPRS represents, this isn’t just great news for Teesside, it’s great news for the planet. The Government-backed the ReNew ELP project last year and they were right to do so. Following the recent announcement of a freeport in Teesside, there has never been a better time for companies like ReNew ELP to invest in our region, Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar.

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