Port of Sunderland
Wastefront is a Norwegian Government-backed energy startup which announced plans to open its first UK plant at Port of Sunderland in August 2020.

North East recycling plant gains backing from global energy giant

A North East waste tyre recycling plant due to open in 2023 has secured the backing of a global energy giant.

Wastefront is a Norwegian Government-backed energy startup which announced plans to open its first UK plant at Port of Sunderland in August 2020. It has since secured a 10-year deal to supply energy giant Vitol.

The plant will recycle locally-sourced end-of-life tyres and convert them into commodities which can then be reutilised as alternative fuel or ground rubber manufacturing.

Christian A. Hvamstad, Wastefront’s director and co-founder and an alumnus of the University of Sunderland, commented: “Our ambition is to create a new circular economy for dealing with waste issues, and partnering with Vitol in this offtake agreement is a key step in our journey.”

Christian continued: “Both Vitol and Wastefront teams have been cooperating closely in the development and configuration of the first plant in Sunderland to ensure it adheres to the current market climate and environmental standards.”

Chris Bake, head of organisation at Vitol, added: “We are pleased to be partnering with Wastefront as they implement their proprietary technology to produce sustainable energy products, with a reduced environmental impact.”

Construction on the plant is due to begin in 2021, generating around 100 jobs in the North East, while 30 full-time staff are expected to be employed when Wastefront is fully up and running in 2023.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said, “Sunderland is targeting businesses in the new green economy, as we look to become an ever-more sustainable city, so this is welcome news that will secure and underpin the new jobs Wastefront is bringing to Port of Sunderland.”

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