23 August 2019 by Lucy Pegg

Plans submitted for waste to fuel plant in NE Lincs

Plans for a facility that could convert up to 500,000 tonnes per year of residual waste into fuel for planes and cars have been submitted to North East Lincolnshire council.

British Airways, Shell and sustainable fuels company Velocys are developing the plant through a joint venture Altalto Immingham Ltd, the latest such development seeking to derive aviation fuel from residual waste.

An artist’s impression of the proposed facility near Immingham

British Airways has previously been involved in plans for a gasification facility near Thurrock, Essex, which would have turned commercial and industrial waste into aviation fuel, in partnership with a company called Solena Fuels but the facility never came to fruition (see letsrecycle.com story).

Altalto’s project would be built on primarily greenfield land at a site on Hobson Way, Stallingborough, near Grimsby and Immingham docks.

Consent had been given for the development of a bio-ethanol plant on the site, but this planning permission has now lapsed. Conditional approval has been given for the development of an Energy from Waste (EfW) facility nearby by North Beck Energy.

Process

The proposed development would produce synthetic paraffinic kerosene to power jet planes and synthetic naphtha for use in road vehicles.

The waste brought to the site would first undergo conditioning to produce a Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF). Plans say this would be converted into syngas through gasification before being cleaned-up, purifired and polished to meet the Fischer Tropsch (FT) specification.

FT synthesis will then convert syngas into primary hydrocarbon liquids and the product will then be upgraded to convert primary FT liquids into on-specification transport fuels.

“This will cut greenhouse gas emissions from aviation, as well as improving air quality and helping to tackle our waste problem.”

Henrik Wareborn, Altalto

Altalto intends to charge a gate fee which it says would be competitive with that offered by other waste management companies providing disposal or treatment.

Henrik Wareborn, chief executive at Altalto, said: “This will cut greenhouse gas emissions from aviation, as well as improving air quality and helping to tackle our waste problem.

“This is a vital step towards the ultimate goal of living in a net zero carbon world by the middle of the century.”

Construction

If approved, the planning application states that construction would begin at the Immingham site in 2021 and finish by 2024.

The fuel produced at the site will meet the standards of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation, one of the Government’s main policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with travel.

Altalto say this is the first time within Europe that these technologies have been brought together to generate a sustainable aviation fuel and road fuel from waste.

The capacity will process around 1,650 tonnes per day of solid waste feedstock, which would initially be delivered by road though the operator would look to secure contracts with waste providers who could import waste via rail.

The development is anticipated to bring 130 permanent jobs to the area.

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