Innovative approaches to waste recycling and green energy production are bringing jobs back to the ex RTZ/Kaiser Aluminium smelting site at Holyhead, Anglesey, which was once the island’s largest employer.

The site’s new owner, Orthios Eco Parks (Anglesey) Ltd, has just taken on 20 additional staff, to join the 27-strong team already managing the site and constructing the first in a planned £20m series of game-changing waste reclamation hubs, capable of converting non-recyclable plastics into oil.

A further five people will start before Christmas in readiness for plastics to oil production to begin early in 2021 and it is expected 25 more will be recruited as soon as funding is finalised for a second plastics to oil (P2O) plant.

Orthios CEO Sean McCormick says: “What’s happening at the old Anglesey Aluminium works is good news for the island, for the Welsh economy and for the planet. By the end of this year, we’ll have more people earning a living from the site than were there in the final years of the old business, with many more jobs opening up as the Eco Park develops. What is more, they’ll be working on projects that will reduce plastics pollution, provide a climate-friendly alternative to fossil fuels, be in themselves carbon-neutral and help to make Earth cleaner and greener.”

As part of the plastics to oil process, cleaned waste will be sorted to separate materials which can be re-used or re-purposed from the non-recyclable plastics, which currently add to both pollution and the climate change challenge by going to landfill .

Technology innovations developed by Orthios and its partners will then transform the non-recyclable plastics into a synthetic oil, for use in specialist fuels, and capture a range of useful chemicals that will further reduce dependency on Earth’s finite amounts of crude oil.

It is estimated that once the operation is in full swing, Orthios’ P2O process will convert around 30,000 tonnes of plastic a year, producing enough oil to fill nearly seven Olympic swimming pools (circa 16.5 million litres).

Sean McCormick added: “​This new step adds to the £12m+ we’ve already pumped into the regional and UK economy by maximising the use local contractors for site works. And this is only the start. We’re developing plans for several other recycling, renewable energy and sustainable living initiatives, all aimed at making Anglesey a world class centre of green innovation and a beacon of hope.”

The rate of progress depends, in part, on whether the company succeeds with its applications to the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme – a move supported recently by Anglesey’s Westminster MP, Virginia Crosbie.

In a speech in the House of Commons, Ms Crosbie described Orthios as “a fantastic, ingenious technology company” and as an important part of the jigsaw that will help to deliver the Government’s net zero carbon target.

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