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City Planners Back Proposal for £100m Tyre Recycling Plant at Port of Sunderland

Plans to construct a world-leading recycling plant that will put the North East at the forefront of sustainable tyre recycling have been greenlit. Wastefront AS, 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 Port of Sunderland, representing the largest ever investment at the North Sea hub. Construction on the development is expected to begin this year (2022), with company executives confident that the plant will be in commercial operation by 2024, creating around 100 skilled jobs once in full operation. The plant will use commercially operating technologies to convert end-of-life tyres (ELTs) into useful commodities, including biofuels and carbon black, which can then be reutilised in processes such as alternative fuel or raw materials for the production of new tyres or other products. An estimated 29 million metric tonnes of vehicle tyres reach the end of their lifespan each year worldwide, representing an underreported but major cause of pollution due to their non-biodegradability. By converting tyre waste into usable commodities, Wastefront offsets carbon emissions, with the alternative end-destination being incineration. Due to the end-products being biofuels and raw materials to be used in new products, the plant will also have a strong alignment to the green taxonomy.