An £80 million tyres recycling plant is poised to be up and running on Teeside by next year.
Around 60,000 tonnes – or 7.5 million used tyres – will be recycled annually at the plant, which will also make the region a European leader in new technology.
London-based company PYReco has announced that plans are going through for the new facility to be based at South Tees Eco Park (Step) in Middlesbrough and will create 90 new jobs.
PYReco uses a novel process called pyrolysis, which harnesses heat to degrade used tyres without producing waste or harmful emissions. Traditionally, tyres have proved difficult to recycle and have been burnt in cement kilns, but the pyrolysis process allows them to be broken down into component parts for reuse.
PYReco chairman, Anthony Carter, said: “This represents the conclusion of a long-lasting quest to find a viable solution to one of the UK and Europe’s most difficult recycling problems.
“It provides a highly effective and ‘green’ way of dealing with used tyres. It is a project of global importance and with Teesside’s long history of expertise in petro-chemicals, it is only fitting that our business will be based here.”
Once planning permission has been approved, the plant will turn Teesside into a pioneering area for use of the pyrolysis technology in Europe.
The system will produce oil and gas, which PYReco says will produce up to 17MW of electricity when the plant is fully operational.
Refined carbon black and high tensile steel gathered from the recycling process will be sold to industry for reuse.