LONDON AND HOUSTON – Clean Planet Energy has announced a new joint venture with private equity firm Crossroads Real Estate to fund a flagship ecoPlant plastics recycling plant currently under construction in Teesside, North East England.
This will be the first of ten new ecoPlants that Crossroads Real Estate and Clean Planet Energy are jointly seeking to build and operate across the UK.
The new joint venture could see over £400 million of new UK investment deployed for the future construction of these facilities to tackle the plastic waste crisis. Potential sites have already been identified in Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire, Lancashire and South Wales, with further locations and announcements to be made in the months ahead.
Clean Planet Energy’s ecoPlant is an advanced recycling facility intended to process non-recyclable and hard-to-recycle waste plastics that would otherwise be sent to landfill.
Each ecoPlant is designed to accept 20,000 tons of plastics each year and to convert this waste into ultra-low sulphur fuels to replace fossil fuels in the transport and heavy-machinery sectors, and (b) petrochemical feedstocks, including naphtha, which can be used to make new plastics without the need to use fossil-based feedstocks.
The company’s ultra-low-sulphur diesel can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 75% compared to the use of traditional diesel, while the joint venture could also lead to over 200,000 tons of hard-to-recycle waste plastics being repurposed for use in the circular supply chain each year.
The news comes as COP27 is currently underway and where world leaders are seeking solutions to reduce global GHG emissions and plastic pollution.
Data from 2021 shows that the UK still generates over 2 million tons of plastic waste each year, with well over 60% of this not suitable for recycling.
In November 2022, the UK government’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee published a report focusing on accelerating the reduction of plastic waste, with advanced recycling identified as a key policy recommendation.
By developing new ecoPlants throughout the UK, Clean Planet Energy and Crossroads Real Estate are opening a route for traditionally non-recyclable plastic waste to be repurposed.
“At Crossroads, we are committed to green opportunities and impact investing as demonstrated already through our sustainable hotels strategy,” said David Gillerman, founding partner and CEO of Crossroads Real Estate. “We look forward to partnering with Clean Planet Energy to roll out ecoPlants across the UK, including the flagship already under construction in Teesside. With this investment, we have the ability to make a significant environmental and social impact across the UK.”
“Our mission is to remove over one million tons of non-recyclable plastic waste from our environment, every year,” added Bertie Stephens, CEO of Clean Planet Energy. “This partnership gives us the capacity to make a significant dent in this target. We’re now reaching out to local councils and private partners across the UK who could benefit from a reduction in plastic waste entering their landfill”.
Earlier this year, Clean Planet Energy announced a 10-year agreement with BP to offtake the circular products from its ecoPlants into the market. At their peak, the facilities should create over 750 direct new jobs, and potentially thousands of indirect jobs when the ecoPlants move from development into the construction and operation phases.