MIDDLESBROUGH’S Greenology has announced expansion plans which will see it deliver a full-scale de-polymerisation plant on Teesside over the next 12 months.

The development has already started to bring 50 highly skilled engineers, designers and apprenticeships together with a whole local supply chain, to an area that is working hard to build a green economy for the Tees Valley.

The company, based on Skippers Lane Industrial Estate, processes problem plastics into oil, bio-diesel and other valuable bi-products via cutting edge technology.

The new plant will have the capacity to process 10,000 tonnes of waste per year, producing 3.75 million litres of bio diesel for use in commercial engines - the equivalent of enough energy to power 1,000 homes.

New buildings, warehouses, offices and the green plant are planned on the two-acre site over the next 12 months, providing a solution to a product that is currently impossible to re-use and is instead landfilled and incinerated on an industrial scale.

Laura Hepburn, company director, said: “Greenology is leading the way globally in transforming problem products into energy. If we can continue on this track here in Teesside then we will put this part of the UK firmly on the map, as somewhere that is serious about our future, committed to tackle the issues around climate instability and passionate about harnessing a highly skilled, forward thinking workforce and technology that will help to power the world sustainably, reduce plastics and other waste streams devastating our planet and oceans. Our action needs to be now, not in 2030 - that is just too late!

“It has been a challenging journey to get to this point, which has seen our factory flooded, being a victim of an arson attack and then functioning through the Covid-19 pandemic. However, these challenges have just pushed our whole team to achieve on a bigger scale than we had previously thought possible.”

On Tuesday (June 23) Laura herself was recognised by the prestigious Women’s Engineering Society for her pioneering work, being named the UK’s Top Engineer in Sustainability.

The award reflects the input Laura has made so far into the design and installation modifications for the company’s plant through reducing landfill, incineration and creating fuels that can be utilised in place of fossil fuels.