Peel Environmental and Waste2Tricity plan to deliver the project at 54-acre Protos site near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. The project will use Distributed Modular Gasification (DMG), a thermal treatment technology developed by Powerhouse Energy, to produce hydrogen from unrecyclable plastics.

The low-cost and clean hydrogen will be initially used for powering buses and heavy goods vehicles in the region and will be rolled for hydrogen cars eventually, to reduce air pollution and improve air quality on the UK roads.

The new plant will be built at an estimated cost of £7m and is claimed to treat up to 25 tonnes of waste plastic per day, which would otherwise end up on a landfill or in incineration.

Powerhouse Energy’s technology is claimed to have been developed over several years at the University of Chester Energy Centre next door to Protos.

Additionally, the hydrogen produced from the plant will in turn generate electricity, which could be supplied to local businesses through private network.

Peel Environmental official Myles Kitcher said: “We have a huge problem with waste plastic in the UK – almost 1.2 million tonnes goes to landfill every year. Working in partnership with Waste2Tricity we are developing a closed loop solution where plastics are brought to Protos and recycled on-site with the leftover material used to create hydrogen instead of ending up in landfill.

“This project really sums up what Protos is about – using innovative technologies to create value from waste, recover resources and provide low carbon energy sources which then can be used on site.”

Waste2Tricity is presently in talks with suppliers of unrecyclable plastics across the region, including companies that could locate at the Protos site. The development could see 25 fulltime, permanent jobs being created at the plant and nearly 100 jobs being created during the fabrication and construction phases.

Waste2Tricity official John Hall said: “This will be the first of many waste to hydrogen projects for Waste2Tricity in the UK and overseas. The Protos site is ideally located in a strategic position in the North West where we have access not only to unrecyclable plastics but also a concentration of energy intensive industries. The beauty of Protos is that it can provide everything we need in one place.”