Protos Aerial September 2019

Peel eyes 2020 start for £150m Protos plant

Charlie Schouten

Peel Environmental and Progressive Energy are set to start work next year on the £150m bio-substitute natural gas plant near Ellesmere Port after securing planning permission.

The plant will generate renewable gas from up to 175,000 tonnes of bio-resources from unrecyclable wood and refuse derived fuel. It also has the potential to be configured in the future to produce renewable hydrogen and link to planned hydrogen networks across the region. Peel Environmental is part of Peel L&P.

Set to be built at Plot 4 of the wider 330-acre Protos site, it has the potential to generate 320gWh of fuel per year, enough to power between 500 and 1000 HGVs per year.

Cheshire West & Chester’s planning committee gave the proposals planning consent in line with officer recommendation at a meeting on 5 November.

Construction is set to start late next year with the plant commencing production in 2022.

Jayne Hennessy from Peel Environmental said: “This is another example of how Cheshire is leading the way on the clean growth agenda. Decarbonising the region, and safeguarding industry and jobs, is going to require many innovative solutions.

“Progressive Energy’s ground-breaking project will be a great fit for Protos where we’re clustering together low carbon energy generation to drive down the cost of clean energy and attract new businesses, jobs and investment.”

Chris Manson-Whitton from Progressive Energy said: “Decarbonising the transport sector is going to be critical if we’ve any chance of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. We’re still hugely reliant on fossil fuels in the sector which, together with heat, accounts for around three quarters of UK energy consumption.

“The decision is a huge step forward to providing a reliable and renewable gas for transport fleets across the North West and beyond. This is just the first of many BioSNG plants that could be built across the country, helping to transform our transport sector and make a huge contribution to tackling climate change.”

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