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End of the road for Orchid's R&D Merseyside facility

Waste to fuel technology supplier Orchid Environmental has closed its research and development facility in Huyton, Merseyside, because it “has proven everything we wanted it to prove”.

Operations at the Huyton facility ceased on 8 July, three years after it began treating 60,000 tonnes of residual household waste each year. The closure results in up to 25 job losses.

Managing director Steve Whatmore told MRW: “Orchid has a plant roll-out strategy, with investors funding facilities in Shotton and Bexley. The Huyton facility, our first, was a demonstrator facility. It was never intended to be long term. It has proven everything we wanted it to prove.”

He added: “We have nothing but praise for the dedicated workforce, who have worked tirelessly in the past three years to prove the Orchid technology is the benchmark in the marketplace for the recovery of quality fuel products and recyclates. We regret the job losses. ”

Independent and Government reports have confirmed that the facility has diverted waste from landfill while proving that markets exist for the recovered fuels and recyclates that have come out of it.

Orchid is now focusing on its two planned merchant operations at Shotton and Bexley, Kent. It expects to receive financial close on the 160,000 tonnes per year Shotton facility in the near future. The Bexley facility has received £4m support from the London Waste and Recycling Board.

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