Peel Environmental has signed an agreement for the development of up to 11 plants designed to produce hydrogen through small-scale gasification technology using plastic waste as a feedstock.
Peel, which is a property and infrastructure development company, has reached the £130 million agreement with PowerHouse Energy, a technology firm, and energy from waste specialist Waste2Tricity on the sites.
The three are already collaborating on a plastic-to-hydrogen facility at Peel’s Protos renewable energy site near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire.
PowerHouse Energy has developed the ‘Distributed Modular Gasification’ (DMG) technology which it says can able to convert unrecyclable plastic into syngas, and can be used to produce hydrogen, electricity and other industrial products. The DMG process can generate more than 1 tonne of ‘road-fuel quality’ H2, and around 28MW/h of exportable electricity per day, PowerHouse says.
Peel is developing the 54 hectare Protos site as an ‘energy hub’ by owner Peel Environmental, with current developments including a waste wood gasification plant, alongside plans for a 350,000 tonnes-per-year energy from waste plant.
The three companies are bringing forward plans for the first DMG plant to be located at the site, with up to a further 10 locations to be developed under the terms of the new agreement.
The first facility is expected to cost around £7 million, and would be capable of handling up to 25 tonnes of material per-day. Locations for the potential 10 further facilities have not been disclosed.
Myles Kitcher from Peel Environmental, part of Peel L&P, said: “This deal could be transformational in delivering a UK first technology that can generate local sources of hydrogen but also provide a solution to plastic waste. As a business we’re looking at solutions for all plastics with a vision for these facilities to sit alongside recycling and recovery.
“We’re pioneering this solution in the North West but local authorities across the country could benefit from a more sustainable way to treat waste plastic, whilst also creating a local source of low carbon transport fuel which could help them meet their climate change targets.”
Waste2Tricity was set up in 2008 and directors of the company include the former Biffa director Peter Jones. The company has an exclusive geographic license with PowerHouse for the distribution of the DMG technology. The Protos development would represent its first commercial project.
“Given the value of this project, and the formal collaboration with Peel L&P, we expect increased investor interest in supporting this revolutionary technology across the UK.”
John Hall from Waste2Tricity, said: “This agreement is an important first in the industry and exemplifies the circular economy. We recognise the importance of moving away from a linear economy and adopting technologies that minimises waste. Given the value of this project, and the formal collaboration with Peel L&P, we expect increased investor interest in supporting this revolutionary technology across the UK.”
David Ryan, chief executive of PowerHouse Energy, added: “We are hugely encouraged by the fact that we have demonstrated our technology to Peel L&P over an extensive due diligence period and we have met the company’s criteria, not only technically but, more importantly, commercially.
“As one of the UK’s largest industrial landowners, Peel L&P’s land portfolio, their expertise and their blue-chip counterparties committed to plastic recycling and hydrogen usage enable us to look forward to successful delivery of the projects under this contract and beyond.”