As I write this article I am drawn to the fact that the pound against the sterling has dropped to €1.08, in my view this puts even more pressure on the UK to look at its own infrastructure developments in residual waste treatment rather than looking to the export market and landfill.
In addition, it became clear to me that UK-sourced energy will be very attractive to UK energy consumers as currency risk is avoided.
For many years the industry has focused on moving away from landfill with great strides being made with over 3 million tonnes exported and so diverted from landfill. However, economic and legislative uncertainty from Brexit may or may not bring difficult decisions over the coming years or even longer. Industry and government must work together to build a sustainable future.
At N+P we are looking to the future and we see huge potential in the UK. As part of our long-term strategic plan, we are developing our infrastructure in the UK by building a Subcoal facility in the north-east. Subcoal, a registered trademark, is N+P patented pelletised high grade solid recovered fuel (SRF) produced from commercial and industrial waste streams.
The plant will take residual high calorific value materials such as mixed plastics that are going to landfill. The plant will be operational in Q2 of 2018 and we will divert over 200,000 tonnes from landfill to produce our Subcoal product.
Subcoal is a high end alternative fuel that is used in the cement industry, coal fired power stations and steel production. Patents are now pending for a number of the industrial applications of Subcoal. Due to the successful applications of Subcoal being produced currently in the N+P Dutch plant, the company has decided to build the first plant outside Holland in the north-east of England, with a number of other plants in the pipeline over the next few years to keep up with demand from our customers both in the UK and abroad.
We have also developed relationships in the UK with thermal treatment developers such as CoGen where we will supply residual waste to their plants that will come online in the coming years. We see the north-east as an area where we can attract municipal solid waste that is going to landfill and offer a diversion from landfill.
At N+P, we have spent the last 10 years building solutions for our suppliers in the UK and in particular the north-east by finding outlets for refuse-derived fuel (RDF) and SRF and then supporting these businesses with logistics and administrative solutions and have recently been involved in providing the fuel consumers with process engineering support.
N+P feel strongly that the Subcoal development will fully complement the existing RDF and SRF businesses that the company has developed over the years.
Warren Freimanis is UK commercial manager for N+P Alternative Fuels Limited