Plastic to H<sub>2</sub> facility in West Dunbartonshire approved

Plans for an innovative £20-MM facility in West Dunbartonshire to turn waste plastic into H2 and support the UK’s energy transition to net zero have been approved.

West Dunbartonshire Council have given the green light to the plant, the second of its kind in the UK. The plans were lodged by Peel NRE – part of Peel L&P – for the site at Rothesay Dock on the north bank of the River Clyde.

The 13,500-ton facility will use Powerhouse Energy’s pioneering technology to create a local source of sustainable H2 from non-recyclable plastics, destined for landfill, incineration or export overseas.

The H2 will be used as a clean fuel for HGVs, buses and cars, with plans for a linked H2 refueling station on the site. It follows the Government doubling its H2 production target by 2030 as part of the recently published Energy Security Strategy so more clean and affordable energy can be produced in Britain as energy prices continue to rise globally.

Richard Barker, Development Director at Peel NRE said, “This is a fantastic moment for West Dunbartonshire and the surrounding area. It shows how the UK is innovating when it comes to rolling out new net zero technologies. The facility will address the dual challenge of both tackling our problem plastic whilst creating H2, a sustainable fuel for future generations.

“Whilst the focus must remain on removing plastic from society, there are still end of life plastics that need managing. The £20-MM plant will play a pivotal role in making the best use of non-recyclable material, with the resulting H2 able to help cut carbon emissions from vehicles.”

It’s the second such planned facility, with the first to be delivered at Peel NRE’s Protos site in Cheshire near Ellesmere Port, due to begin construction this year. In Scotland, its estimated construction will take around 15 months to complete the facility.

Paul Drennan-Durose, Chief Executive Officer of Powerhouse Energy Group said, “The consent is another key landmark for the rollout of our pioneering technology in the UK, creating a local source of H2 production and a vehicle refueling station. It’ll help deliver a low carbon alternative to diesel vehicles, responding to both Scottish and UK Government missions to decarbonize our communities and economy.

“This is the second in a planned portfolio of such recycling facilities across the UK we’re currently exploring with Peel NRE. It demonstrates our commitment to tackling the greatest challenges of our time – tackling climate change and addressing our waste plastic with innovative technologies.”

Zero Waste Scotland estimates that around 500,000 tpy of waste plastic are produced in Scotland, with research undertaken by Anthesis, on behalf of Peel NRE, showing that around 300,000 tons are within the central belt of Scotland.

Peel NRE has signed a collaboration agreement with Powerhouse Energy Group to develop 11 waste-plastic-to-H2 facilities across the UK over the next few years, with the option of exclusive rights for a total of 70 facilities.