These facilities will primarily target the mixed plastics waste stream, converting end-of-life plastics (ELP) into diesel. Details of the plans have been announced in SITA’s Sustainability Report 2010.

Last year SITA signed an agreement with technology provider Cynar to utilise its process which can convert various waste plastics, which are currently landfilled or incinerated, into low-sulphur hydrocarbon fuels.

SITA’s intention is to build ten plants in the UK to process 60,000 tonnes per annum in total of mixed plastic waste into diesel. The company hopes the first plant will be commissioned in London by the end of the year.

Following that, two to three conversion plants will come on stream each year, each producing more than 4M litres of ELP diesel. The report states: “Eventually we will be producing 42M litres of ELP diesel, plus about 15M litres of other liquid fuel”.

Commenting on the deal, Cynar’s CEO, Michael Murray, said: “We are excited by the prospect of seeing our technology becoming both a manufacturing and mainstream reality … ensuring that there is a practical commercial benefit derived from dealing with Britain’s growing mixed waste plastic mountain.

SITA has also been granted its first permits by the Environment Agency to export any materials its recovers to Europe for use as a subsititute fuel. According to the company, this will increase the amount of fuel it is able to produce from waste.

Maxine Perella

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