Permission granted: Pictured at Port of Sunderland on the Quantafuel site is, from left, Port of Sunderland Director Matthew Hunt, Quantafuel Sunderland Managing Director Bill Elliott, Quantafuel Sunderland Director Winifred Patricia Johansen, and Sunderland City Council Leader Cllr Graeme Miller
Our favourite Norwegian plastic recycling company is a big step closer to starting its operations in the UK after receiving planning permission from Sunderland City Council for a major new plant at the city’s Port.
We have been working with Quantafuel ASA over the past two years to provide communications and community and political engagement support to its teams both in the UK and Norway as it looked to expand operations into the UK.
That has included developing key messages and themes for all activity, planning and running community consultation events, creating information materials and web content, and undertaking media and political relations support with stakeholders in Sunderland and the wider North East region.
Now that planning permission has been granted it means 100 new permanent jobs will be created, along with supporting 200 jobs during construction, and countless others in the supply chain.
And, crucially, it means that around 100,000 tonnes of plastic waste a year that is not generally recycled in the UK, and which otherwise would have been incinerated or disposed of in landfill, will be recycled using pyrolysis technology.
The oils produced in the process will be used again in the manufacture of new, high-grade plastic, helping the UK to reduce its CO2 emissions and achieve its Net Zero targets.
Winifred Patricia Johansen, Director of Quantafuel UK, said: “It has been an absolute delight to work with Karen and the DTW team during the last couple of years. We are delighted to have planning permission to build our first UK plant in Sunderland, thanks in part to the incredible support of the DTW team.
“They have been a professional partner throughout the entire process, engaging with people in a caring and listening manner.
“We believe their proactive approach to open dialogue made all the difference during the planning process and it will be the foundation upon which we build a good working relationship with our neighbours, stakeholders, and the local community in the future.
“As we move forward with other projects across the UK, we are excited to continue to work with DTW and their collaborative and strategic approach.”
Karen Westcott, Head of PR, Community Engagement and Public Affairs at DTW, said: “It’s great to work with the Quantafuel team. They are passionate about reducing C02 emissions and improving the circular economy, but they are also totally committed to community engagement and two-way communication with their stakeholders.
“Their openness and willingness to meet with the community, listen to feedback, and share information has been key to success. They’re a great example of an organisation that puts communication and engagement at the heart of the business.”